ROI gets a third definition – Return on Infrastructure
I had recently discussed ROI taking on a new definition — Return on Information — making the point that enterprises need to take action on Big Data in order to realize the business value of their most valuable asset. But there is another dimension to gaining value from data, especially when it comes to hosting brontobytes of data in a scalable infrastructure. In order for enterprises to act quickly, data needs to be available in an easily accessible, compact infrastructure; an environment where structured and unstructured data can be informationalized at a reduced cost. In other words, enterprises must realize their Return on Infrastructure — the third dimension of ROI.
Gone are the days of pizza-box sized servers which have now been transformed into the size of a hardcover book packed with processing power, storage and networking connections. Game-changing technologies are in effect today that realize servers that consume up to 89 percent less energy, 94 percent less space and costs 63 percent less than a traditional server. Or, as I would characterize it, servers that deliver a significant Return on Infrastructure investment, giving ROI a third definition!
Here is a simple equation to compute the return on the infrastructure that hosts the applications running on them:
- Return on Infrastructure = Applications Business Value – Infrastructure Cost
But what can enterprises do to continuously increase the Applications Business Value while reducing Infrastructure Cost?
Increasing Applications Business Value. There are multiple strategic measures enterprises can take to realize the business value from applications, here are a few:
- Enabling business functions that matter with the right applications – checkout my discussion on the interview of Forrester Analyst, Phil Murphy.
- Modernize the right applications the right way
- Transform the right way to the cloud
- Informationalize data while combating security
Reducing Infrastructure Cost. There are multiple factors that contribute to the cost of infrastructure including the bare metal hardware, the power consumed, and the space consumed within the data center facility. There have been point solutions over the years that address each one of these factors. This innovative new generation of servers addresses all three aspects at once; positioning enterprises to realize exponential synergies in the context of their environment. Hundreds of entire computer servers about the size of an envelope are packed together into a single system that basically functions as an ultra-compact supercomputer.
So, there you have it — the third definition for one of the most commonly used clichés in the industry — ROI. Taking action today on Big Data will position enterprises to be more competitive and realize their Return on Information, provided they have a cost-effective mechanism to realize the returns on the enabling infrastructure.
What measures are you taking to address the cost of infrastructure? Are there other factors that contribute to realizing the Return on Infrastructure? I would be interested to know.