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Leaner datacentres and SOA topping CIO agenda, says McKinsey

Antony Savvas

Two trends in information technology will become increasingly important to CIOs in 2007, said management consultant McKinsey.

According to a McKinsey survey of CIOs in the US, there will be the increasing migration to service-oriented architectures (SOAs) and the introduction of “lean-manufacturing principles” in datacentre operations.

The McKinsey survey found that 64% of respondents plan to implement service-oriented architectures in the coming year.

Advocates of service-oriented architectures expect them to make IT more flexible, open, and efficient by facilitating communication and interaction between systems.

Under this design, common IT tasks can work smoothly together, regardless of an organisation’s underlying technology platform.

McKinsey said that as more organisations adopt web services standards, interest in these architectures has grown.

The interest persists even though many executives have been unclear about the precise meaning of the “SOA” term, a confusion made worse by some suppliers’ propensity to label every product as “service oriented,” said McKinsey.

The survey also found that 48% plan to implement service-oriented architectures for integration with external trading partners in 2007.

The second trend poised to strengthen in 2007 is the application of lean-manufacturing principles in datacentres.

The survey found that 28% of respondents said that they had already applied or decided to apply “lean” principles to improve their data centre operations.

Cost-conscious CIOs have consolidated smaller datacentres into fewer and larger ones over the last 10 to 15 years, said McKinsey.

Applying lean principles, which includes server consolidation, increased automation and headcount reduction, can help reduce waste and improve labour productivity by as much as 40% in some processes, said McKinsey.

Nearly a third of the survey respondents aim to apply lean principles in their data centres.


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