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5 Ways to Measure the Success of a Converged Infrastructure Strategy

MylesS ‎01-30-2012 08:24 AM - edited ‎01-30-2012 08:40 AM

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. Converged Infrastructure–or data consolidation–aims to trim the weeds.

 

 

A converged infrastructure strategy, at its core, is about rationalizing IT services by unifying datacenter resources, people and infrastructure, around fewer datacenters and standardizing and virtualizing what is in the surviving datacenters. This reduces people and maintenance cost, optimizes the use of the IT infrastructure by targeting full capacity, but more important, improves both the performance and agility of IT operations. In its most simple form the reason for this is 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, in fact, create greater business agility. This is clearly a laudable objective for IT organizations since it provides 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 costs reduction, how do we prove the business value of investing in converged infrastructure? And how do we make the business excited about their funding of this investment? Well, the success of converged infrastructure needs to be shown by derived measures. 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 there are fewer things to maintain and greater expertise to fix fix things the MTTR 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 of the average of number of assets, which is reduced in a de facto form.

 

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.

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About the Author

MylesS

Mr. Suer is a senior manager for IT Performance Management. Prior to this role, Mr. Suer headed IT Performance Management Analytics Product Management including IT Financial Management and Executive Scorecard.

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