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The biggest pain for UK IT decision makers is revealed

According to new research, the UK's IT decision makers are nodding their heads but still don't actually understand what the software-defined data centre (SDDC) is.

Back at Cloud Computing World Forum in June, Adapt surveyed 100 IT professionals and found major discrepancies in what they believe this term means.

Read more: Overcoming the barriers to cloud with software-defined availability

61 per cent of respondents claimed to be familiar with the concept, but that's where the positive news stopped, since they were subsequently unable to agree on the benefits of SDDC.

While 20 per cent said it helped provide centralised management, 13 per cent thought it had something to do with performance and 17 per cent simply admitted that they did not know.

Interestingly, 43 per cent said that they don't think a true SDDC is achievable as a production-ready environment within the next year, while 25 per cent thought that this was already achievable.

When asked what the SDDC means to businesses, the survey's participants brought up a wide range of generic answers, from security to flexibility to lower costs.

"It's clear a true explanation of the benefits has not yet been defined or understood by UK organisations," according to Adapt, which defines SDCC as "a way of making the most economic use of data centre resources like storage, network and compute: controlling infrastructure consumption, process and operation down to component level without having to touch a single piece of hardware."

Unfortunately, this isn't something we haven't seen before. At the Open SDx summit earlier this year, it was clear that anything "software-defined" seems to get IT people's heads spinning. 451 Research's Simon Robinson even referred to it as "the Marmite of the industry."

Read more: Storage is in desperate need of reinvention: SDx is the way forwards

"The data centre industry is rapidly evolving," said Kevin Linsell, the head of service development at Adapt. "Building large scale data centres with high-volumes of hardware is very inefficient and complex for cloud service providers and enterprises. Through the use of software as opposed to hardware, a SDDC can offer businesses a fast, incredibly flexible way to not only virtualise their IT, but increase levels of flexibility, agility and control from the application layer down, removing barriers and enabling business transformation.

"As with all big evolutionary steps it can take a while to arrive at market acceptance. Our latest survey is evidence of the confusion in the industry - education is key to ensuring businesses reap the rewards that SDDC promises."