Reducing costs still tops the agenda
While many UK firms are looking to embrace technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing most lack the data centre infrastructure to make a success of the project, according to new research from nlyte Software.
The data centre performance management vendor also found that the majority of companies are unaware of the impending Carbon Reduction Committee (CRC) energy efficiency scheme, which comes into force on April 1 this year.
The survey of 200 CIOs at UK firms from a variety of industries found that most (52%) plan on making changes to their existing data centre environment, with a heavy emphasis on cost-cutting measures. Virtualisation (49%), consolidation (44%) and streamlining the infrastructure already in place (31%) were the most popular focus points for data centre change.
Reducing operational costs, including elements such as power consumption, was the top driver for the changes, with 69%. IT sustainability was next with 51%, just ahead of the need to increase capacity (50%). Perhaps surprisingly, cloud computing was back on 18%. Nlyte speculated that this could be because many companies are still unsure of the exact definition of cloud computing.
“Given the current economy, it’s logical that organisations will instead be looking to capitalise on what they already have in place – an attitude that is crucial in the data centre where cost and efficiency will be the number one priority when looking to streamline the entire environment, from operations right through to sustainability. The question remains though as to how UK organisations plan to do this when almost two thirds of respondents still don’t have the proper tools in place to help them optimise their existing data centre assets,” said Jon Temple, CEO of nlyte Software.
Not improving the data centre when preparing for a cloud computing project could mean forms don’t get the best possible return on investment, according to Robert Neave, nlyte co-founder and VP of sustainable IT initiatives.
“Trends like the Cloud may be all hype now, but there is no doubt they will become a reality,” he said. “If organisations don’t have their data centres in order and have no way of effectively managing change, they will not only face competitive disadvantages, but may also fall victim to heavy government fines and serious reputational damage – consequences that, quite frankly, industries such as the financial services sector should be more than well aware of in today’s IT climate.”
The research revealed that just 36% of UK firms use third party tools to manage and measure performance within the data centre, with the remaining 64% relying on on-house tools, spreadsheets, Visio or other tools. 9% said they didn’t use any tools at all.
“There is software for managing various parts of the data centre such as the plant, the boxes and so on, but there was nothing to bring it all together. Companies were often using ad hoc solutions built in Excel,” Neave added at a roundtable held to discuss the results.
The survey also revealed interesting attitudes towards the upcoming CRC scheme. Just 49% of those quizzed said that they were aware of it, while 73% of those said that they had budgeted for the impact the scheme will have on their data centre.
“CRC is not just about the data centre,” said Andy Lawrence, research director, eco-efficient IT at the 451 Group. “Perhaps companies do not fully realise the amount of power they are using in the data centre – they haven’t brought everything together to access power consumption.”