Technology, Converged Infrastructure

Measuring the success of a converged infrastructure strategy

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Most IT strategies have at their core some form of business impact. For most, the impact comes in the form of cost reduction, investment for new innovation, or business process improvement. IT organizations that I have talked to have grown organization by organization over a long period of time. Their growth has happened kind of like the weeds shown below. A converged infrastructure–or datacenter consolidation–aims to take out the weeds.

 At its core, this is about rationalizing IT services by unifying datacenter resources, people and infrastructure, around fewer datacenters and standardizing and about virtualizing what remains in the surviving datacenters. This reduces people and maintenance cost and optimizes the use of the IT infrastructure by targeting full capacity. But more importantly, it improves both the performance and agility of IT operations. In its most simple form the reason for this is that IT ends up supporting fewer things. While this is a great technical achievement, the business impact is even more significant. According to Jeanne W. Ross of MIT CISR, an enterprise architecture that has standardized key elements of the IT environment does establish greater business agility. This is clearly a laudable objective for IT organizations since it provides so much benefit to IT’s business customers.

 

Proving the business value from a converged infrastructure investment

 So, besides the obvious infrastructure and FTE cost reduction, how do you prove the business value of investing in converged infrastructure? And how do you make the business excited about their funding this investment in the first place? Well, the success of converged infrastructure needs to be shown through derived measures. Specifically, you can see the effect of converged infrastructure through the following measures:

 

1. Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) because a convergence strategy allows you to run better what is in your environment.

2. Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) because having fewer things to maintain means there is greater expertise to fix things. This causes the MTTR to in fact goes down

3. The time to procure infrastructure: Standards typically mean there is more knowledge of remaining suppliers.

4. The number of asset types in maintenance: This decreases simply because the infrastructure types are reduced, including the number of software licenses that are purchased.

5. Finally, the average time to provision server and storage should go down as the number of asset types is dramatically reduced and expertise is increased.

 COBIT and ITIL clearly add more KPIs covering enterprise architecture, project management, benchmarking, asset management, and service level management, but these five are great starting points to measure the success of a converged infrastructure strategy.

 Related links:

IDC Report: Measuring the Business Value of Converged Infrastructure in the Data Center

Feature:  Peak performance demands precision control

Solution Brief: HP Financial Planning and Analysis Software

 Solution page:  IT performance management

Solution page:  Converged infrastructure

Twitter: @MylesSuer

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Discussion
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tua022012
tua ngo 0 Points | Thu, 03/29/2012 - 07:59

Thanks for your link. It's useful for our community.

Same material can be found at : Asset management KPIs

I hope it's useful for you and you like it. Please continue sharing more information at this topic.

Best rgs!

pcalento
Paul Calento 256 Points | Tue, 03/27/2012 - 15:38

Follow-through is probably the most important metric to converged infrastructure success. Myles, as you point out in another blog, you can't just manage via spreadsheet.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by EnterpriseCIOForum.com and HP)

pearl
Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:31

HI, Myles, thanks for sharing, well, we brainstorm many high level of convergence, such as consumerization of IT and enterprise IT, machine intellience and human wisdom, big data with operational data, to dig deeper, now, here, you focus on IT infrastructure convergence, it's all about improving IT maturuty, from ractivity to proactivity, then coming to automation, optimization, integration, orchestration, and spend more resource, investment on innovation and value creation. thanks.