Yes, I’ve bought my last server. I’m barely using the infrastructure I have. My first step is to monitor my hybrid data center.

Plant manager comes in to the CFO’s office and says – “Sales will double because of our new offerings!  Our factory runs at full capacity 8 hours a day, we need to invest in another factory.”

Call Center manager comes in to the CFO’s office and says – “Sales are doubled because of the our new offerings! Our call center representatives are busy 2 hours a day, I need to hire more reps.”

Supply chain manager comes in to the CFO’s office and says – “”Sales are doubled because of the our new offerings! Our trucks are 30% filled,  I need to buy more trucks.”

What’s the CFO’s answer?  In the words of Donald Trump:

Yet all across the IT landscape, conversations like those above are happening as it relates to IT.  While its crazy to invest in more plants, hire more reps or increase your supply chain those assets are 30% utilized, it’s not considered crazy to purchase more servers when your current servers aren’t utilized to their fullest.

The decision to invest in things like factories, personnel or other assets are determined by utilization of current assets. Companies invest in big data to help them make the right decisions so that they aren’t throwing money away.  That’s a great accounting practice.   However, when you aren’t monitoring the IT assets that are crunching your big data needs, you are falling in to the error you’ve been trying to avoid – wasted investments in underutilized assets.

Enter the current state of  IT infrastructure.  Whether it be servers (virtualized or standalone), storage or network – the current state of IT is a lot of underutilized assets.  So why are organizations purchasing more servers when their current infrastructure is under utilized?  The answer lies in the age old IT sales jargon of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

  • Fear – “The software vendor we are talking to is telling us we need to purchase more servers for their infrastructure.”
  • Uncertainty – “I don’t know what my current utilization is, how do you expect me to support the solution”
  • Doubt – “You tell me I can do more with my current infrastructure but I know I can do more with more infrastructure”.

Education and monitoring will erase the FUD.  Education will allow you to make the decision to move to a public or private cloud while monitoring will allow you to survey your existing assets and insure you are getting the most out of them. Furthermore, the monitoring tools pay for themselves!  Not only will you save money by not acquiring new hardware, but you will save even more money by not acquiring new database or middleware software.  These savings add up to substantial amounts over the lifetime of the asset.

So the next time a line of business needs new technology to fuel the next growth of the business – look no further than your current infrastructure (and monitoring tools) and “Just say no” to new servers.

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