Report shows shift towards strategic virtualisation

A survey by IDC has revealed a shift in IT organisations' approach to virtualisation management. They are now adopting a more strategic approach in order to make sure it delivers promised benefits.

A survey by IDC has revealed a shift in IT organisations' approach to virtualisation management. They are now adopting a more strategic approach in order to make sure it delivers promised benefits.

IDC's Industry Insights Information Technology Management Service (ITMS) survey found that four-fifths of companies are adding virtual machines to their systems management portfolio. Only a tenth had incorporated virtualisation as part of an overarching IT portfolio management strategy, although 80% are beginning to make the effort to coordinate.

"While IT professionals strongly support virtualisation, right now their main focus is on how to implement it and make that transition within their organisation," said Melinda-Carol Ballou, IDC Industry Insights ITMS principal analyst covering portfolio management.

"This is understandable; however there are many benefits to managing these efforts as part of a proactive, coordinated IT management strategy. Moving forward, IT leaders now need to lay the groundwork to incorporate virtualisation into an overall portfolio management approach."

Within two years of deploying virtualisation, Industry Insights ITMS analysts predict IT organisations will shift their tactical perspective on virtualisation management to a strategic project spanning multiple IT groups.

In addition to portfolio management trends, the survey also reveals that respondents view their existing IT chargeback (the IT expenses that are charged back to individual business units) processes as moderately effective and fair.

Yet even though the majority of companies report having begun deploying virtualisation, only half are factoring virtualisation resources into their chargeback methodologies.

The march of virtualisation is relentless. What this survey shows is that not only do firms have to accept it as a standard practice; they will also have to shape up their management practices in order to cope with it. 

The cost savings from doing so can be significant and IT organisations must make the management of a virtual infrastructure a strategic initiative.

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