An increasingly mobile workforce, new requirements for access to services and environmental concerns will be among the key factors impacting enterprise outsourcing decisions in 2008, according to predictions made by Joe Hogan, vice president, Strategic Outsourcing Programs, Unisys.
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Consumerisation of information technology will continue to have profound implications for enterprises’ IT services strategies and the outsourced utility model of IT infrastructure management will become more of a necessity. This means that the modernisation of legacy applications will accelerate as pressures for both flexibility and cost containment increase and that environmentally conscious data centres based on “green” technology will proliferate across all industries;
“Cost savings, formerly the key factor in outsourcing decisions, will now be a given and not the sole driver, or in many cases even a primary one,” Hogan says. “A profound transformation in how people work and do business is driving a new set of service requirements and imperatives. Accommodating these new user demands will be the main challenge for outsourcing providers in the coming year and beyond.”
Hogan says that companies that have previously hosted their own data centres, with management of those facilities provided by their outsourcing provider’s personnel, will come to rely more and more on off-site data centres owned and operated by their services provider.
“It makes economic sense for enterprises to take advantage of their outsourcing partners’ increasing investments in lower cost service delivery, standardized systems serving multiple customers, and ‘green’ IT,” said Hogan. “This new paradigm can help forward-looking enterprises decrease their capital expenditures and reinvest the difference to drive innovation in their business.”
To avoid the adverse impact of unchecked data centre power usage, Hogan says, companies will push substantial investments in “green” IT in 2008. They will also demand that their outsourcing providers do the same – not only to conserve energy, but also to appease increasingly concerned shareholders and dramatically impact their bottom line.
According to Hogan, outsourced data centres will increasingly feature more efficient storage and better power facilities, servers using multi-core processors and use of virtualization. The last two steps can reduce the number of systems requiring separate power supplies while making operations more efficient by dividing tasks among and within multiple processors in each server computer.