A solid infrastructure helps a business drive innovation. By allowing businesses to focus on their core processes they won’t have the worry of mismanaged services or lost data. Forrester notes in a recent report, “With so much attention being given to public cloud services, mobile applications, big data and a myriad of other exciting movements, people often lose sight of the critical nature of the underlying infrastructure.”1
Because of rising service complexity and customer expectations, infrastructure development can no longer be insular, but rather must consolidate design across all domains while blending in application development to drive innovation and customer satisfaction. Additionally, Gartner notes “infrastructure and operations costs represent nearly 70 percent of the IT budget, offering the greatest opportunity for IT leaders to achieve savings.2
Both Forrester and Gartner point to colocation as a way to improve infrastructure performance. Gartner recommends the use of “external services (e.g., cloud and colocation) to overcome economy of scale issues.3
Forrester is more expansive on the point:
- Give colocation some serious consideration for your physical data center needs.
- Your facilities may be on your own premises, but a rapidly growing option is the colocation model. These colocation providers maintain the physical facilities, including environmental support and physical security. The real value expands beyond basic needs, however. Choose a colocation provider strategically by selecting one that places your services in proximity to business partners. This proximity matters more than ever as you pursue optimum speed and agility.4
This strategy is consistent with what Forrester sees as a pattern of infrastructure and operations (I&O) organizations ceding some control, but rigorously implementing and enforcing governance: “In the past, I&O organizations felt a need to control all aspects of the technology implementation to guarantee stability. Today, the opposite is true—I&O pros must relinquish control and trust others to deliver on the promises of their services.”5
Gartner has identified 10 best practices organizations can follow to reduce I&O costs and help solidify infrastructure performance.6
- Review contractual commitments with vendors.
- Ascertain what has changed in your I&O environment since the last cost optimization effort.
- Recognize that scale, modernization, and staff productivity are the basis of most I&O optimization opportunities.
- Don’t overlook options to reduce staff expenses.
- For future data center needs, focus on colocation and managed service providers (MSPs).
- Review additional opportunities for rationalization, consolidation and modernization, especially for servers.
- Do everything you can to contain storage costs.
- Make client-computing device management more stringent, including lockdown.
- Assess where you can use self-service.
- Determine where public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) makes sense in your I&O environment.
These practices, based on thousands of conversations with clients, may go a long way towards realizing cost and value optimization efforts in infrastructure and operations, providing the backbone needed for ongoing business innovation.
- O’Donnell, Glenn, Koetzle, Laura, Fichera, Richard, Martorelli, William, and Hewitt, Andrew, “Service Design Is Your New Approach to Infrastructure,” Forrester, February 2, 2015.
- Pultz, Jay E., “How Best to Reduce I&O Costs in Midsize Enterprises,” Gartner, October 27, 2014.
- Ibid, p 1.
- O’Donnell, et al., ibid, p 6.
- O’Donnell et al., ibid, p 11.
- Pultz, ibid, pp 8-9.