Assessing the Impact of New IT Trends Including Virtualization, Cloud and SaaS

“By 2020 most people will do their work from a range of computing devices using Internet-based applications as their primary tools, in the opinion of 71 percent of the technology stakeholders and critics" polled recently for a report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

In a recent feature in NetworkWorld, most respondents in the survey–picked from technology and analyst companies for their technical savvy—“believe cloud computing will dominate information transactions by the end of the next decade, primarily for its ability to provide new functions quickly, cheaply and from anywhere the user wants to work.”

“That may be overly optimistic but certainly isn't unreasonable,” according to Chris Wolf, analyst at Gartner, Inc.'s Burton Group.

"We see a lot of things going to clouds that aren't particularly sensitive–training workloads, dev and test environments, SaaS apps; we're starting to hear complaints about things that fall outside of IT completely, like rogue projects on cloud services," Wolf says.

It cannot be denied, however, that Cloud Computing and subscription-based IT Service Management SaaS (Software as a Service) are becoming viable and sound options.  Which begs the question, how should IT managers be assessing their potential employment?  Are there new best practices being formulated that become the basis for decision criteria on SaaS usage?  Or, is the integration of Cloud Computing and SaaS purely a financial decision?

Some Cloud based enterprise deployments are generating positive feedback among IT managers and users.  According to the feature, one example is a large medical facility in which physicians that are remote users, need only a browser to access data that resides on several virtual servers that are set-up in the cloud.  This is a powerful capability established through an expense savings approach.

Virtualization will not only reduce data center expenses, it helps reduce a company’s “environmental footprint.” According to Microsoft, IT managers can maximize the effectiveness of existing technology investments and "green" a data center with a virtualization solution.

A typical physical server in the data center, for example, operates at only 5 to 15 percent of CPU capacity.  Using virtualization, you can consolidate your agency's underemployed servers into a smaller number of fully utilized machines, so running your data center is more efficient and cost effective. Owning and operating fewer servers also helps to green a company’s IT operations. With virtualization, you can use less power, generate less heat, take up less space, and consume fewer materials.



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