Virtualisation boost in the year of doing ‘more with less’

So last year’s economic and financial events have established ’09 as the year of doing ‘more with less’ as I mentioned pre-Christmas.

Cost is now the central factor for consideration, whether that involves production BAU services, or the cost avoidance for DR hardware and new application server deployments. The ability to deploy a new application in days rather than weeks or even months has had many an industry jumping for joy, and doing-more-with-less.

But looking back over the last twelve months, what can we say were the other primary drivers for deploying a virtualisation solution?

We have seen business agility at the forefront of virtualisation uptake, but the enhanced availability and management tools of the virtual environment from vendors has also come along in leaps and bounds. This has supported the strategic move forward for organisations to adopt the technology with confidence.

The messaging behind virtualisation has also been transformed of late and more visibility of the product roadmaps have been revealed, to building strategic confidence. So how do these factors help affect uptake this year, and more importantly, what will be this year’s key virtualisation drivers?

With the ‘more is less’ objective remaining imperative, the word on everyone’s lips will be cost cutting and optimisation in 2009. The age old adage off ‘sweating assets’ will be reinforced, and virtualisation is predominantly positioned to deliver against both of these.

Organisations will look to improve their ROI in shorter time frames, and be looking for more quick wins to support the business operation this year. Simplified management, smart-sourcing and a focus on the internal operations will be at the front of the CIO’s mind, and they will be looking for simple answers to these problems.

Getting the right people for the job will no longer mean recruiting the skilled labour or contractor, it will be more about ensuring you have the right services aligned to your operation. IT will be accountable to a new range of questions – “Who will support my virtual environment and at what cost?”. “Who will continue migrating my physical servers when my limited resources are stretched even further this year?” “When and how will I start being able to measure the effect of virtualisation, and continue to lobby support for this strategic move?”

The good news is that there are services out there to address these questions and they’re not just available from the virtualisation software providers. There are now a range of smart-services on the market available at lower costs. There are answers to the challenges but we need to fully understand the question and work out how these will benefit the short term problems, while not negatively impacting long term strategy and existing ROI commitments.

Another key driver in 2009 will be desktop virtualisation, thereby leveraging existing products, skills and processes to deliver flexible, cost effective, simpler to manage desktop environments. With organisations having many more desktops than servers to manage, support and refresh, and various product developments through 2008 to 2009, this will certainly be in the Top 5 on the business To-Do list.

Flying the flag for ‘more with less’, this rapidly growing technology will also provide the strongest ROI within an IT organisation and eliminate environmental control issues in the general office, as well as the enhanced security, management and reduced support requirements.