The report said server and storage consolidation can deliver a considerable return on investment but warned there are obstacles to be overcome.
Mark Blowers, co-author of the report, said, "Before any organisation can even contemplate an IT infrastructure optimisation initiative, it is imperative that asset and inventory management processes and common management tools are put in place."
He warned that companies need a clear picture of their environment. "If, like nine out of 10 companies, you do not know what you have, how do you know if the situation has improved?" he said.
According to Butler, the level of return on investment depends on the scale of the consolidation, although suppliers often quote a timescale of nine months to three years before investment is recouped.
Sue Clarke, senior analyst at Butler, believes other factors will come into play. "It also depends on how you calculate the ROI, such as whether you take staff savings into account."