Ask one hundred people what virtualization means to the future of their business, and you’ll get a hundred answers. Ask a hundred people what virtualization is, for that matter, and you’ll get a hundred answers. The spellcheck on the PC I’m using now doesn’t even recognize the word virtualization. While we may not agree on what virtualization is, or what the word virtualization even means — We should agree that companies who focus on virtualization will lead, and companies who ignore virtualization will follow over the coming decade.
What is virtualization? Virtualization is the decoupling of software from hardware for the purpose of centralizing IT infrastructure management, and maintaining absolute control of your environment. Virtualization enables a company to focus on their business, and not their IT infrastructure.
Why virtualize? The question has been asked in board rooms across America and the world. The benefits of virtualization are many, including cost savings, ease of management, scalability, and deploy-ability. If you buy into virtualization, you will quickly unlock untold savings to your IT budget bottom line. You will no longer need to maintain such a huge IT services staff, because your environment will be easier to manage, and more centralized. You can scale up or down depending on business cycle, or season. You can maintain a smaller hardware footprint, and move towards a true “lights out” datacenter design.
What are the benefits of virtualization for my employees? Employees benefit from virtualization in many ways. 20 years ago, could you ever have imagined that today you’d have the capacity of a super computer on your phone? Today it’s more important than ever to allow your employees to work from wherever they might be. We have snow storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, or just burned out employees who need some work-from-home time. Virtualization can allow your employees to connect to their virtualized desktop from home, or anywhere in the world. Virtualization gives your company the ability to scale systems up or down when weather events occur, or on Fridays when more employees might work from home. Studies have shown that giving employees this ability makes them happier, more productive, and less likely to leave your company for greener pastures.
What are the benefits of virtualization for my customers? Your clients will benefit from virtualization because they will experience decreased downtime, and happier employees. Lower costs too! Nothing burns a bridge with a client faster than not being able to ship on time because of a system outage, or having to deal with upset burned-out employees only to be overcharged. Virtualization will increase your redundancy, reduce outages, and give you the ability to scale servers up or down depending on need. Problems of the past where it took 6 months to order a new server are now a thing of the past. Some of the increased margins can be passed on to your customers as savings.
In conclusion, virtualization will be one of the key driving forces in business over the next decade. As America struggles to grow GDP, virtualization can be a key technology that allows businesses to increase margins and grow bottom line revenue. Employees who wish to make themselves “lynch pins” within their companies should become virtualization experts today. Virtualization will drive investment in storage, hardware, and software that can be delivered via virtualized applications delivery. All of these areas will open new career paths for people, grow our economy, and ultimately raise the bar technologically throughout the world.