I spent last week in London meeting with IBM Real-time Compression customers and partners and supporting the launch of the new IBM Storwize V7000 (not to be confused with the company IBM purchased a month ago).

While on this trip I met with a great colleague Matthew Yeager. Matthew is one of the leading technologists working for ComputaCenter in the UK. We spent a couple of hours discussing how the IT business was changing. Once revered and dressed in shirt and tie, the IT manager now is plumber / electrician of the company. The first to get yelled at when systems / applications / devices aren’t working, always lacking resources and always being asked to do more with less. While the plumbing matters, everyone just expects it to work. Like plugging in a phone to a phone jack, users expect a dial tone.

The shift in technology within IT is moving from “What does it cost?”, to “What is the business value I can achieve with this technology?” More and more, especially as we are moving out of this recession, albeit slowly, customers are trying to figure out how to spend less in IT (as a percentage of overall revenue) but increase their business outcome.

If you read the blog post I did last week about Allianz. The goals set forth in IT were to cut spending by 10% each year but increase overall efficiency. How do you do that? New technology is how you do that but it is not sold under the premise of a vendor brining in a new technology that they have developed or acquired, it is about identifying a problem: ‘Our storage growth and management of that growth is costing us too much money’, and then solving that problem with new technology that fits into the business.

To help get their datacenters under control, a number of end users have been moving to the virtual datacenter or VDC. The reason behind this is specifically due to better business outcomes. Virtualization reduces utility costs, it reduces rent and with all of the reduction, it actually makes your processing environment more efficient. There can be more servers to process more data, reports can be run on virtual servers that are not used for production so there is no performance impact. The issue with VMware is the data growth that follows. Real-time Compression helps to control the data sprawl that that is caused by VMware and much like the value proposition of VMware, Real-time Compression allows customers to reduce utility costs and space costs (as you don’t need to acquire more storage) and additionally it helps with all of your down steam operational expenses when you control storage growth on primary storage. To see more on how a VDC can help your environment save money and make you more efficient, check out this new application on the iTunes Store.

In February Matthew and I sat down and we discussed a underwriting guarantee that if ComputaCenter didn’t provide the value proposition they said they would, they would pay hard cash. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. There is still a lot of desire to do this. The trouble comes when big business gets in the way with all the legal T’s and C’s but none the less, I commend ComputaCenter for going above the noise in the industry to try to deliver real business outcomes based on cold, hard cash.

The reality of IT is; No company has ever made any money spending it on IT infrastructure. Businesses make money when the applications you run them on perform faster and more efficiently than the competitor. It is time to enable customers to more effectively deliver a better business outcome. Thank you Matthew last week for you time. It is always a pleasure!


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