Companies need to give IT heads the power to assert their authority when embarking on server and storage consolidation, including looking at outsourcing as a means of best serving the business needs.
With many businesses either engaged in or considering consolidation, companies must see the move as a way of driving value.
This means making savings in areas such as depreciation, software licensing, system administrator cost per system, and physical space.
Soft savings, such as more secure infrastructure, management efficiency and better use of corporate data, should not be forgotten.
Martin Hingley, EMEA vice president of hardware research at analyst IDC, told vnunet.com: "There has to be the political will allowing the IT manager the right to impose or negotiate on solutions being replaced. Otherwise, you get responsibility without authority."
Chris Ingle, group consultant at IDC's systems group, added: "If the enterprise has a hierarchical infrastructure that is highly efficient, consolidation is easily done.
"But if it is more democratic with multiple [profit and loss accounts] consolidation may introduce inflexibility."
Outsourcing should be considered in such cases, according to Ingle, who proposed five steps for business success:
- Consider the mix of benefits and assess the alternatives.
- Start small and grow.
- Demonstrate the value from the small projects.
- Look at opportunities to link to other projects.
- Focus on consolidation and show how it is more flexible than the alternatives.
"Do a good audit and build the financial case. Project implementation is straightforward. The golden rule is: technical use should follow the business process," said Ingle.
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