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EMA Research Shows Data Center Automation Delivers Measureable Profitability and Cost Benefits
A new study released by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT management research and consulting firm, found that Data Center Automation (DCA) technologies can effectively reduce Data Center staffing requirements by 100%, saving an average of $750,000 per year on resource costs alone.

EMA defines DCA as "a set of IT management disciplines aimed at automating system and application management activities within medium- or large-scale centralized computing environments." With this broad focus, Andi Mann, EMA's research director and project lead, completed the most wide-ranging primary research undertaken to date into the world of DCA. Mann surveyed 229 IT professionals across more than 300 data points and conducted extensive one-on-one interviews and case studies to understand benefits, drivers, satisfaction, and barriers to adoption for 15 key DCA disciplines. The findings are detailed in EMA's new research report, "Data Center Automation: Delivering Fast, Efficient and Reliable IT Services."

In addition to substantial cost savings, 75 percent of respondents stated that DCA delivers measurable increases in profitability. The study also found that DCA reduces Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) for system problems by an average of 250%. Not surprisingly, customer satisfaction ratings for DCA technologies - individually and collectively - were consistently high.

One surprising study finding was that cost reduction, though listed in the top five, was not the primary driver for DCA deployment. Rather, EMA found that the primary drivers for DCA deployment were mostly strategic - such as reducing complexity, improving response time and reducing firefighting. When asked what stopped them from deploying (or deploying more) DCA solutions, respondents were concerned primarily about purchase costs. However, EMA found that the big issues were really internal and political - like lack of available people, processes or time.

"IT departments are clearly trying to run their data centers more efficiently and position themselves as a strategic asset, instead of a tactical cost center," said Mann. "With tangible, measurable results, and such strong satisfaction, DCA technologies appear to be some of the best value for money investments in IT."

When polled on the most important deciding factors for choosing a DCA solution, respondents noted ease of use and ease of implementation as the two most important factors, outranking requirements such as purchase cost and feature set by a small but significant margin. In addition, respondents showed a strong preference for Open Source offerings, rating them second only behind integrated software suites as their preferred form factor for DCA solutions. DCA appliances also made a strong showing in this category.

"Open Source and appliance-based solutions are two growing trends that will continue to shake up the DCA market," stated Mann. "They will definitely become even more important over time as data centers look to deploy DCA solutions in less expensive form factors."

This research report is available now at http://www.enterprisemanagement.com. For more information on this report, visit http://www.emausa.com/ema_collateral/EMA_DCA-2007-RR-OV.pdf. For pricing information or to purchase this report, please contact Kevin Hecht at khecht@enterprisemanagement.com or (303) 543-9500 x124. 

In addition, Mann will share highlights from the study and provide tips for getting started with DCA during a free Webinar on Thurs., Oct. 25, 2007. To register, visit https://enterprisemanagement.webex.com/enterprisemanagement/onstage/g.php?d=924297374&t=a
Published Thursday, October 25, 2007 6:49 PM by David Marshall
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