RealTime IT News

Cutting Costs Will Drive IT Projects in 2009

As the recession bites into budgets, enterprise IT will focus on projects with a fast payback and those that help cut costs. That will see increased emphasis on technologies like virtualization and cloud computing, which will increasingly come into the production environment.

The move into these technologies will see a shift from their currently unstructured implementations to implementations where proper IT management principles are applied, Jim Grant, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at enterprise management systems vendor BMC told InternetNews.com.

"We will see large corporations bring both virtualization and cloud computing into production and begin implementing proper management techniques," Grant said. "Almost all large corporations that have begun implementing virtualization into their datacenters have not yet begun to implement full lifecycle management technologies for it."

Several vendors have already begun offering virtualization management tools. They include Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), VMware (NYSE: VMW), CA (NASDAQ: CA), BMC (NYSE: BMC), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

IT will have to prove its worth very rapidly, and make sure customers see near-term and immediate financial benefits both in terms of what IT staff are spending time on and improved service levels, Grant said. They will begin implementing virtualization and cloud computing in production to lower the cost of ownership in 2009, according to Grant.

They will then begin to take a structured, disciplined approach to implementation because production workloads have more stringent requirements. "When you take an application workload into production and deploy applications in a virtual environment, you have an additional set of management issues that you didn't face in the pre-production application development environment," Grant said.

These include compliance, regulatory, security, performance and availability issues for thousands, and, in some cases, millions of users.

"The costs and risks of getting something wrong in a highly dynamic virtual environment skyrocket in a way pre-production virtual environments don't depict well," Grant said. "Regulatory and security requirements have to be managed and updating has to be achieved, and these things will continue to get more complex in a virtual environment."

The same issues will apply to cloud computing, Grant said. "If your business wants to run an application in the cloud, you're the one on the hook for availability, regulatory compliance and so on for your application," he explained.

Some of the technologies that will let enterprises deploy production applications in the cloud are already available, but that market will begin to establish itself in 2009, Grant said.