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Survey Finds Data Center Automation Software Reduces Escalating Costs and Solves Key Human Issues
At TechWebs Software 2008, Stratavia, the leading provider of data center automation software for Fortune 1000 organizations, today announced the results of a study it sponsored, conducted by research firm Enterprise Management Associates. The survey revealed insights from 169 IT professionals from organizations with over $100 million in annual revenues. The research results indicate the biggest single cost factor in enterprise data centers is staffing expenses, as companies experience skills shortages, difficulties attracting and retaining staff, high error rates from manual intervention and language issues when outsourcing offshore. Findings include:
  • The biggest single cost factor in enterprise data centers is staffing costs. Over 35% of respondents believe that this is the largest single cost in operating and managing their data center more than hardware (26%), more than software (22%), and five times as much as a current "hot" issue, energy costs (7%).
  • Low skills, poor processes and lack of documentation account for a significant volume of all errors. Over 90% of enterprises believe that their IT administrators need more skills today than both 5 and 10 years ago, highlighting the challenge in keeping up with the rapid pace of technology change. But, almost two-thirds (60%) of these enterprises are better able to document, establish, follow, and/or enforce best practices, when using automation tools.
  • The vast majority of enterprises (77%) report that data center operations staff spend most of their time on routine operations, maintenance, and common break-fix tasks. Only 23% of enterprises have their operations staff working on delivering new IT strategies and systems to add business value.
  • 75% of enterprises believe that outsourcing data center operations to non-English-speaking countries increases the rate of human or manual error.
  • Turnover remains a critical issue for organizations but nearly three-quarters (73%) of enterprises find that these automated tools allow their staff to be more productive, reducing the pressure to replace staff when they move on. Over two-thirds (68%) of enterprises responded that they find it difficult to attract and/or retain skilled IT staff to manage their data centers. They are also facing an aging workforce that will result in a labor shortage of 35 million workers by 2030, yet only 37% of enterprises have hiring plans that include specific accommodation for this impending retirement of senior IT staff (i.e., the "baby boomer exodus").1 Most enterprises (59%) see their skilled people leaving their organization within 5 years, and over a quarter (27%) see their skilled people leaving within 3 years.

At first glance, the findings present broken models of managing data center operations; yet these challenges can easily be overcome with automation tools, said Andi Mann, research director, Enterprise Management Associates. Automated data center operations and management tools reduce the impact of resource shortages, the cost of data center operations, the skills required and the volume, scope and impact of errors.

Published Tuesday, April 29, 2008 6:29 PM by David Marshall
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