By: Brian Reagan, Chief Marketing Officer, CDS
With ongoing concerns about an economic downturn, companies are looking for ways to cut costs and optimize systems. Combine recession fears and tech spend expected to slow 5.4% this year amidst an IT labor shortage, and it’s easy to see why tech firms and IT departments need to reduce their budgets. The data center is a less obvious place to check for some hidden dollars.
A downturn will delay major hardware refreshes, extending the age of the data center systems and adding pressure to modernize. By staying on top of data center infrastructure, using third-party maintenance providers, and optimizing data center maintenance, companies can run an efficient data center, shave dollars off their budgets and allocate their talent to higher-value projects.
How old is your data center?
A 2022 Uptime Institute study found that 52% of IT and data center managers report keeping their servers in operation for five years or longer. Research from CDS suggests that 65% of systems are at least five years old and found the median age of enterprise network and storage systems to be closer to seven years. Plus, economic headwinds typically set hardware refreshes back, meaning we can expect the average age of data center systems to go up again this year.
Aging inventory creates an opportunity to evaluate the current spend on maintenance and support for systems that have high costs but are no longer Tier 1 critical. Knowing the costs and value of the system is even more important if it will be migrated to a new platform.
Once a system reaches the end of its original warranty period, generally around year five, changes to the required maintenance and updates set in. At this point, operating system software has typically reached a stable point; most system updates are done; and infrequent service packs provide any additional patches. A customer is legally within their rights to download all patches and updates before they end any existing support contract if the system is not running current code levels.
When a system no longer requires OEM-specific software updates, customers have a variety of options for post-warranty support from a trusted third-party multi-vendor service provider (MVS). An MVS provider can provide maintenance and service to fit all stages of the data center lifecycle.
Data center optimization
As the data center ages, it’s essential to keep track of opportunities for savings within those systems.
For example, a lookup tool can take inventory and generate reports that highlight the age of data center assets by type and vendor as well as estimate current support costs and savings opportunities across different priority systems. Data center health checks can inform savings programs, modernization initiatives and migration plans.
Once the health of the data center is recorded, companies can work with an MVS provider to help implement the recommendations. MVS providers can support modernization projects, data migration, data erasure, asset decommissioning and everything from onboarding to end of service life, setting MVS providers apart from third-party maintainers. MVS contracts that help preserve budget dollars and extend the useful life of infrastructure will be an increasingly common approach for IT leaders as recession fears and layoff concerns tighten budgets.
Creating extra money in an IT budget can help fund strategic initiatives or provide a cushion during uncertain economic times. While tight financial conditions may delay routine hardware upgrades, MVS providers can help extend the life of the hardware while saving money.
Identifying areas of overspending, particularly when it comes to supporting systems that are past their original warranty period, tracking the health of the data center and investing in an MVS provider relationship that can help modernization efforts are essential steps to deliver real and rapid savings.
About the Author:
Brian Reagan, Chief Marketing Officer at CDS
Brian Reagan is the Chief Marketing Officer at CDS. In his role, he is responsible for global marketing, redefining multi-vendor services as a strategic enabler of enterprise modernization, advancing the understanding and usage of Raytrix MVS platform, and expanding the reach and impact of CDS via strategic partner ecosystem. As a CMO and Outside Advisor, Brian builds enterprise value and accelerates revenue through accelerated product adoption and usage, improved customer expansion, new routes and channels, new products, and new global markets.