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Survey says Data Center automation reduces costs and prevents human error

LAS VEGAS – April 29, 2008 – At TechWeb’s Software 2008, Stratavia™, the leading provider of data center automation software for Fortune 1000 organizations, today announced the results of a study it sponsored, conducted by research firm, Enterprise Management Associates. The survey revealed insights from 169 IT professionals from organizations with over $100 million in annual revenues. The research results indicate the biggest single cost factor in enterprise data centers is staffing expenses, as companies experience skills shortages, difficulties attracting and retaining staff, high error rates from manual intervention and language issues when outsourcing offshore. Findings include:

· The biggest single cost factor in enterprise data centers is staffing costs. Over 35% of respondents believe that this is the largest single cost in operating and managing their data center – more than hardware (26%), more than software (22%), and five times as much as a current ‘hot’ issue, energy costs (7%).

· Low skills, poor processes and lack of documentation, account for a significant volume of all errors. Over 90% of enterprises believe that their IT administrators need more skills today than both 5 and 10 years ago, highlighting the challenge in keeping up with the rapid pace of technology change. But, almost two-thirds (60%) of these enterprises are better able to document, establish, follow, and/or enforce best practices, when using automation tools.

· The vast majority of enterprises (77%) report that data center operations staff spend most of their time on routine operations, maintenance, and common break-fix tasks. Only 23% of enterprises have their operations staff working on delivering new IT strategies and systems to add business value.

· 75% of enterprises believe that outsourcing data center operations to non-English-speaking countries increases the rate of human or manual error.

· Turnover remains a critical issue for organizations but nearly three-quarters (73%) of enterprises find that these automated tools allow their staff to be more productive, reducing the pressure to replace staff when they move on. Over two-thirds (68%) of enterprises responded that they find it difficult to attract and/or retain skilled IT staff to manage their data centers. They are also facing an aging workforce that will result in a labor shortage of 35 million workers by 2030, yet only 37% of enterprises have hiring plans that include specific accommodation for this impending retirement of senior IT staff (i.e., the ‘baby boomer exodus’).(1) Most enterprises (59%) see their skilled people leaving their organization within 5 years, and over a quarter (27%) see their skilled people leaving within 3 years.

“At first glance, the findings present broken models of managing data center operations; yet these challenges can easily be overcome with automation tools,” said Andi Mann, research director, Enterprise Management Associates. ”Automated data center operations and management tools reduce the impact of resource shortages, the cost of data center operations, the skills required and the volume, scope and impact of errors.”

Stratavia’s CEO, Thor Culverhouse, will elaborate on the survey findings during his speaking engagement at Software 2008 in the Innovation Showcase Theater today, Tuesday, April 29 at 12:30 pm. He will speak alongside 14 Innovation Software Showcase Winners at the event. Now part of Interop Las Vegas, TechWeb’s Software 2008 will be held at April 29-30, 2008 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Survey Methodology

In March 2008, EMA conducted primary research into the top human issues in the operation and management of large enterprise data centers. In all, 169 qualified respondents from organizations with over $100 million in annual revenues participated in a Web-based survey. Over a third (36%) had annual revenues of over $1 billion. Almost three quarters (72%) had over 2,500 employees in total, over half (59%) had more than 5,000 employees, and over quarter (29%) had over 20,000 employees. Respondents were primarily high-level IT staff – 24% were CIOs or CTOs, 12% were IT Vice Presidents, 30% were IT Directors, and 23% were IT Managers (or equivalents). A full methodology is available upon request.

About Stratavia

Stratavia is a leading provider of Data Center Automation software. Stratavia's flagship platform, Data Palette, automates complex, error-prone, manually intensive yet repetitive IT administration tasks, while providing predictive analytics to detect and resolve issues before they can impact operations. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Data Palette to define, build and orchestrate standard operating procedures, and report on mission-critical applications and IT operations. Founded in 2001, Stratavia is headquartered in Denver, Colorado and is privately held and venture funded by Adams Street Partners, Asset Management Company and Vista Ventures. For more information go to www.stratavia.com.

About Enterprise Management Associates

Founded in 1996, ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES® (EMA™) is a leading industry analyst and consulting firm dedicated to the IT management market. The firm provides IT vendors and enterprise IT professionals with objective insight into the real-world business value of long-established and emerging technologies, ranging from security, storage and IT Service Management (ITSM) to the Configuration Management Database (CMDB), virtualization and service-oriented architecture (SOA). Even with its rapid growth, EMA has never lost sight of the client, and continues to offer personalized support and convenient access to its analysts. For more information on the firm’s extensive library of IT management research, free online IT Management Solutions Center and IT consulting offerings, visit www.enterprisemanagement.com.

Comments

  1. Wow, the EMA and Stratavia research fingings are compelling. Our organization just spent the last 6 months evaluting energy saving and hardware resource optimization technologies. We need to change gears to IT automation.

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