A new IOUG research report "Efficiency Isn't Enough: Data Centers Lead the Drive to Innovation" presents the results of a survey of 285 data managers and professionals. The survey aimed to learn where IT is spending its data center resources, and identify key strategies for improvement.
High on the list of current activities: maintenance, such as patching; maintaining availability; creating and managing copies of data; performance tuning ... routine chores to keep the lights on. And due to rising complexities, the costs are growing. If these efforts could be reduced, IT would have more time for innovative initiatives. So how can that be achieved?
Not surprisingly, survey respondents cited standardization as the top strategy to reduce efforts devoted to routine administration. Standardizing reduces complexity - fewer elements to learn and understand, fewer permutations to orchestrate, fewer vendors to work with. And higher standardization enables better automation - which happens to be the second-most important strategy.
One point the survey does not address is how to approach standardization. One of the keys is to develop a service catalog which describes the services offered, and how they are delivered. See this recent blog entry for more on service catalogs - and watch for more to come soon.
You can find a summary of the survey on the IOUG website. Become an IOUG member and read the full report.