12/8/2004

Datacenter Managers in Denial

Filed under: — menk @ 3:51 pm

Recently the researchers at the Gartner Group a well respected IT analyst organization predicted that as many as 50% of the IT operational jobs in the U.S. could disappear over the next two decades because of improvements in data center technologies. Currently most datacenters manage all their servers (Unix, Linux and Windows) by hand with very little automation. This leads to two major issues high costs associated with labor and considerable quality issues since large numbers of personnel leads to inconsistency and numerous opportunities for errors.

The opportunity to increase quality and systems security while driving large savings by gaining efficiencies using automation is a natural direction these IT organizations must take or face extinction via outsourcing. However it still seems many in the IT industry are in denial.

In response to this prediction; Stevan Lewis, director of enterprise planning for BMO Financial Group, a 34,000-employee financial services company in Scarborough, Ontario said “Like most of the Gartner stuff, it’s sort of a Utopian state — we’re certainly not there yet” Since I work for one of the leading vendors in the IT Automation space (Opsware) I can tell you that in my opinion the Gartner Group is being conservative. We have seen improvements in personnel efficiency that are orders of magnitude through application of Opsware technology. The average server to system administrator ratio in IT organizations today is around 20-1 we have customers that have achieved 200 - 1 in some cases.

I can only say that if Stevan Lewis’ manager would like to achieve large personnel savings for BMO financial group he should start by giving Stevan the axe and getting someone hired to run the IT organization there that has some sense of vision. I’m sure that there are many organizations out there run by folks that have barely grasped the change in application architecture to adopt web-based technologies. The smart CEO and CFO will seek to determine quickly whether their key managers are among them and cull them from the workforce before their entire business is damaged as a result of short sighted IT approaches.

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