IT Up or Down These Days?

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The slowing economy is having very little effect on demand for IT services, while driving improvements in energy efficiency and resource utilization, according to a recently released report from The Aperture Research Institute™ (ARI), a research organization established by Aperture Technologies Inc., to research data centers, their challenges, and best practice management.

ARI surveyed more than 100 data center professionals across a range of sectors including the healthcare, banking and insurance, retail, telecommunications, government, and pharmaceutical industries. According to the report, 73% of data center managers surveyed expect demand for IT services to increase during the next two years, while more than half (56%) predict there will be no increase in their budgets during the same period of time. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed expect their IT budgets to fall, with 26% predicting a drop of up to 10%; 11% of those surveyed foresee even greater cutbacks.

“With the global economy in a downturn, data center managers are being faced with the combined challenge of rising demand for IT services and tightening budgets. This is forcing them to find new ways of doing more with less,” said Steve Yellen, principal of The Aperture Research Institute.

“From the results of our survey, it appears that data center managers are placing a greater focus on utilization and efficiency of existing resources. This is likely to cause a revitalized focus on tools that provide insight into resource allocation and use,” he continued.

The report shows that data center managers are looking at ways to squeeze more from their existing resources, with 80% of data center managers surveyed confident they can create at least 10% additional capacity through better management of existing assets. Thirty percent said they could find an additional 20%.

“The companies with the best chance of emerging from the current economic downturn strongly positioned to compete are those that invest in tools that enable them to gain actionable insight into their resource allocations,” said Andrew Fanara, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR products program manager. “This information will enable them to make smart decisions that will result in cost savings and operational efficiency.”

Other survey results show that data center managers are also looking to green initiatives to help manage their operating expenses, with 87% of those surveyed currently having a green initiative in place. Of those indicating they have a green initiative in place, only 22% believe that the economic downturn will slow the pace of their green efforts. Thirty-nine percent of respondents do not expect the economic slowdown to have any impact, while 26% expect to intensify efforts to go green.

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