Only a quarter of all servers are virtualised, according to the latest data from analyst Gartner.
While CIOs believe they have virtualised their x86 servers, Gartner said IT departments have to plan for two to three times the growth of virtualisation.
"Virtualisation will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge," said Philip Dawson, research vice-president at Gartner. "Virtualisation now drives efficient IT from all angles, including datacentre design, platform updates and application and infrastructure modernisation, as well as traditional and new delivery models, such as infrastructure utility and cloud computing."
"However, virtualisation does take investment; the savings are not a given," warned Philip Dawson.
Gartner warned that virtualised licensing continues to present a major stumbling block to widespread adoption of virtualisation. As software suppliers change their software pricing and associated license provisions to accommodate virtual use, IT departments must plan to spend an increased amount of time per contract to understand the effect of such changes on planned software use.
Gartner believes organisations must monitor the ways each supplier is responding to virtual use issues. Those that do not will experience significantly increased costs and the unintended impairment of their current license rights, said Gartner.