Tuesday, December 06, 2011

#ALGORITHMS: "Profiting From IT as a Service"

By tracking computer usage and measuring it against return on investment, business analytics turns a data center into a profit--rather than a cost--center.

Running IT as a service requires that every project have a business case with tangible benefits, clear return on investment and key performance indicators that measure how IT projects affect business goals, according to a Gartner report. That report, “The Future of the Infrastructure and Operations,” advises that infrastructure and operations become a "full partner with business."
"IT as a service turns the data center into a revenue-generator instead of cost center," said Mike Kaul, CEO of Sentilla Corp., Redwood City, Calif. "But analytics are needed to maximize data center efficiency by measuring performance, utilization, capacity, energy usage and total cost of ownership."

Sentilla's planning module runs analytics that compare costs between traditional IT, virtualization, and private- and public-cloud migration, allowing managers to "what-if" the ROI for running IT as a service.
Of course, traditional business modeling techniques--spreadsheets chock full of ad hoc assumptions--can be used to perform the necessary analytics to maximize profit from IT as a service, but the Sentilla software suite instead makes actual measurements of performance, utilization, energy usage and key performance indicators, thereby allowing IT to benchmark efficiencies and calculate ROI for all its various projects and implementations.
Sentilla began as a software suite that measured energy consumption of every device in the data center, but has evolved into a planning tool that can predict the potential savings from switching to different implementation technologies. The latest incarnation adds tools to manage and maximize ROI for data center projects by minimizing capital investment and operating expenditures. IT management can now quickly gain actionable insights that increase performance, efficiency and capacity without the need to prepare traditional spreadsheets that make assumptions instead of measure performance.
Using its ongoing measurements of performance, efficiency and capacity, Sentilla provides visibility into data center operations that allows projects to be planned with ROI predictions based on real measurements rather than unsubstantiated assumptions. The new version supports IT as a service with new planning modules that permit benchmarking costs for projects before committing to performing them in-house, using virtualization, or with private- or public-clouds.
Sentilla also evaluates infrastructure projects--from hardware refresh to cloud migration--before implementing them, as well as predicting when data centers will run out of capacity. Sentilla 4.0 also allows each business line to be compared for profitability and correlated with infrastructure changes, plus identifies where the greatest efficiencies can potentially be reaped
Further Reading