IDC Industry Insights Survey Identifies Major Trends in Virtualization Management for 2007

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JANUARY 25, 2007 – In a recent survey conducted by IDC's Industry Insights Information Technology Management Service (ITMS), results reveal a shift in information technology (IT) organizations' approach to virtualization management (VM). The survey, conducted among 31 respondents across 19 North American-based IT organizations, finds the majority of companies (80%) are adding virtual machines to their systems management portfolio. Only a few (10%) have incorporated virtualization as part of an overarching IT portfolio management strategy, although 80% are beginning to make the effort to coordinate.

"While IT professionals strongly support virtualization, right now their main focus is on how to implement it and make that transition within their organization," says Melinda-Carol Ballou, Industry Insights ITMS' principal analyst covering portfolio management. "This is understandable, however there are many benefits to managing these efforts as part of a proactive, coordinated IT management strategy. Moving forward, IT leaders now need to lay the groundwork to incorporate virtualization into an overall portfolio management approach."

IT Leaders on VM Chargeback Processes

In addition to portfolio management trends, the survey results also reveal respondents view their existing IT chargeback (i.e., the IT expenses that are charged back to individual business units) processes as moderately effective and fair.

While the majority of companies report having begun deploying virtualization, only 50% are factoring virtualization resources into their chargeback methodologies. Of those who do, less than half (40%) believe it adds to business user confusion, while the balance (10%) report it enhances the process by more tightly mapping resources to business units. "As virtualization becomes more broadly implemented over the next few years, we expect forward-thinking IT leaders will change their IT chargeback processes now to get ready for it," adds Joseph Pucciarelli, ITMS' principal analyst covering technology financing.

IT Leaders on VM Strategy, Organization and Cost Savings

Within two years of deploying virtualization, Industry Insights ITMS analysts predict IT organizations to shift their tactical perspective on virtualization management to a strategic project spanning multiple IT groups. The recent study results go on to reveal how IT organizations can adopt emerging benchmarks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the virtual infrastructure.

Cost savings and organizational trends are among the benchmarks highlighted in the study. According to survey results, the average cost savings range experienced by deploying management processes and solutions for virtual infrastructure is $100 – $200,000. Additionally, the survey results find the majority of responding companies (85%) are allocating ownership of the virtual infrastructure to a small group of "virtualization specialists," while 15% of organizations are creating specific cross-functional virtualization groups, often called the "Virtual Computing Team."

Says Principal Analyst Stephen Elliot, who covers ITMS' enterprise systems software & management strategies, "IT organizations must make the management of virtual infrastructure a strategic initiative for the company, as well as a priority throughout the budget and resource allocation process."

Survey Methodology:

Industry Insights IT Management Service team conducted a research study in October 2006 among 31 senior IT leaders across 19 U.S. companies. The study, a series of in-depth interviews, focused on understanding the impact and evolution of IT management practices. Respondents of the study have an average number of 30,000+ employees.


IDC's Industry Insights companies provide industry executives with research-based advisory and consulting services that enable information technology (IT) and business executives to maximize the business value of their technology investments. Industry Insights cover the industry value chain for manufacturing, energy, healthcare, financial services and government. Staffed by senior analysts with extensive experience in these industries, Industry Insights provide a portfolio of offerings that are relevant to both IT and business needs. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Complete findings and analysis from the survey are available in a series of reports published by the Industry Insights ITMS analyst team. Copies are available upon request. If you report any of the data, it must be sourced as originating from "IDC's Industry Insights."