Virtualisation offers us a way to extend the life of old software. The hardware can be upgraded to the latest specification, allowing the legacy software to take advantage of increased performance.
In the past applications tend to be run on their own dedicated server hardware. More applications mean more servers. Virtualisation reduces server sprawl, as IT departments can consolidate several applications on a singe box. And virtualisation does have a role in Green IT: it can improve the efficiency of servers and lower the amount of electricity consumed.
IT directors and CIOs have a real opportunity to break from traditional data centre designs and run virtualised IT environments. How this will work in practice remains to be seen, but the benefits are very clear indeed.