Areas of Opportunity While significant strides are being made, areas of improvement exist in both technology and processes affecting IT. Two areas in which CIOs are seeing increased cost are storage and IT resources.
On the continuum of utility and cloud computing, server virtualization is only one component in the enterprise stack. Virtualization strategy for storage is still nascent. A significant opportunity exists in managing enterprise storage. Similar to server sprawl, CIOs are now experiencing storage sprawl. 75 percent of the CIOs are expecting storage to grow at a rate of 10 percent or more. Over 25 percent of the CIOs are expecting growth of 25 percent or more. Yet few are using storage grid or compression techniques to control the sprawl, while utilization rates are a low 30 to 50 percent. On one hand, storage is increasing. On the other, internal capacity is available. Storage growth has increased due to the lack of a unified database infrastructure strategy. The best-in-class companies are managing to consolidate storage into a grid architecture that virtualizes the database tier and increases utilization of storage hardware. In advanced cases, database-enabled deduping, middleware, and data services architecture drive the reuse of data and reduce duplication across the enterprise.
On the resource front, only 10 percent of the CIOs expect to reduce full-time employee (FTE) costs. As a major component of IT and data center budgets, FTE cost reduction is an opportunity enabled by greater process automation, monitoring, and configuration management. While many IT organizations have service-level agreements with their user community, only 28 percent have automated systems in place to warn users of out-of-tolerance conditions. Furthermore, only 23 percent have comprehensive performance management systems in place for managing end-to-end processes. Configuration management tools are pervasive with 69 percent of the companies utilizing a configuration management database (CMDB). Yet, only eight percent have automated monitoring of changes across software and hardware assets. In many cases, proactive monitoring and self diagnostics reduce the number of issues raised by end users, thereby reducing the cost of human intervention.
Conclusion 2010 will be an exciting year for IT organizations. With the scale of growth many companies are experiencing, CIOs and their organizations are major players in the success. CIOs are seizing the upturn in the economy to place bets on IT investments that support growth while enabling key strategies of utility computing, service orientation and cloud computing. Each strategy is tied to greater efficiency in service delivery, maximizing flexibility, and making the most of operational and capital expenditures. While many are making significant gains, it is unlikely that there will be a moment of rest as new opportunities are exposed.
Yashpaul Singh Dogra is a senior director of Oracle’s Industry Strategy and Insight and a member of Oracle Insight Data Center Practice.