Gaining Financial Insight with Software-Defined Data Centers?
Dec 18, 2013
In the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs) and how they can transform the data center, both technologically and operationally. But SDDCs offer another critical means of business transformation: financial.
That’s right … in addition to making a switch to the latest technology and giving the business more control over the IT services it consumes, SDDC technology can also provide significant visibility into the financial health and viability of the IT resources that the business consumes – and by extension, the business processes that are the catalysts.
In the past, IT spend has often been viewed as overhead - necessary to business, but not subject to significant scrutiny. Yet this started changing during the recent recession, as businesses cut back on inflexible capital expenditures and started requiring business cases that showed positive return on investment for nearly every expenditure. Suddenly IT was no longer able to count on the expected exponential budget increases that had been approved for hardware expenditures year over year. Hardware and software licenses can grow the department’s expenses fast. And in most cases, neither the IT department nor the business organizations being supported have the tools or the processes in place to prove out the financial value for their budget requests. Visibility into system costs versus usage was difficult to obtain, and charge-backs to specific departments was even harder.
But in an IT-as-a-Service environment that is powered by the SDDC, financial visibility is not only possible, but in many cases, easy. Through the robust management platforms that control the environment, IT is able to offer both lines of business and the C-suite a better view of exactly where money is being spent on IT, how much of the spend is leveraged to maximum levels, and how much is being left unused. And based on that visibility, the best SDDC management platforms will offer suggestions, based on best practices and the particular environment being managed, about how to optimize the resources in use and, if appropriate, how to reduce spend.
When leveraging SDDC management platforms from experienced SDDC providers, IT is often pleased to find intuitive, easy graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that show exactly what was spent on a particular set of virtual machines (VMs), and how much of that investment is being leveraged at the time a report is pulled.
I recently had the opportunity to review VMware’s industry-leading SDDC management platform, and the following images shows exactly how easy it is to log in and review the health, status, and optimization of the VMs you have deployed.
Below we see that the user whose portal we are using has two VMs deployed, each being 97 percent optimized – a healthy usage rate!
The self-serve nature of the SDDC environment also frees IT from sole responsibility of monitoring budgets. Using the self-service SDDC catalog - which shows in a very intuitive way what services are available to end users and how much those services will cost - line of business employees can proactively choose the services they need the most to do their jobs and support their departments, balancing those needs against the budget available to support it.
The highly visible, intuitive nature of VMware’s SDDC management platform allows IT to create a highly controlled and yet self-service environment. The business gets everything it needs technologically to support their departments quickly, efficiently, and with little human intervention. IT can provide more services at a cost-effective price, as well as offer comprehensive reporting to the C-Suite about how IT funds are being leveraged, ensuring that all expenditures are providing maximum returns.
For more information on transforming your business with an SDDC foundation, visit the VMware SDDC website.
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