Hi, my name is Patrick O'Rourke. I typically blog over at the Microsoft Virtualization team blog, but wanted to share the following survey findings with this community today. See a summary of the survey results here.

First, here's some background on the survey:

The survey was conducted online among 1,200 IT decision-makers at enterprise and SMB organizations in the U.S. (n=308), U.K. (n=310), Germany (n=281) and Japan (n=301) by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft between April 9 and May 5, 2009. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Here's an excerpt from today's news release:

While many information technology (IT) professionals are investing in specific areas of IT infrastructure, 55 percent say the economy has changed the role of IT and 51 percent say that budget constraints are the biggest barrier to their innovation, according to a new study commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and conducted by Harris Interactive. The study results indicate that IT professionals in the U.S. are devoting less budget to innovation than their counterparts in the U.K., Japan and Germany.

Of the four countries included in the study, the recession appears to make the biggest impact on IT innovation in the U.S. IT managers in Japan and the U.K. indicate they will devote 41 percent of their budgets toward innovation versus “keeping the lights on,” or maintaining current systems. IT professionals in Germany plan to invest 35 percent, while their counterparts in the U.S. plan to spend only 29 percent on innovation. On average, IT professionals across all four countries say they will allocate 37 percent of their budgets to innovation in 2009. Only 22 percent of IT professionals cite giving the business a competitive edge as their current top priority.

Specific to systems management, we asked the question "what are your challenges with IT systems management?" Cost reduction through consolidation is the biggest challenge (45%) for IT pros. Several of the top issues, such as cost reduction, governance/compliance, and operational silos, are significantly greater challenges in enterprise and SMB organizations. 

Some other relevant survey findings to this community:

  • The top measures of success for IT professionals are practical ones:
    •  network security (79% rate as mostly or extremely important)
    • customer satisfaction (also 79%)
  • Security is the #1 challenge in managing infrastructure for both enterprise and SMB organizations (60%). Other potential pitfalls, such as uptime, resource utilization or systems management, don't rise above 45% of IT pros.
  • The survey found that 84% of IT professionals consider green factors when making datacenter decisions, but that this factor plays into the final decision for only 44% of those organizations. However, the survey also found that nearly all IT professionals will maintain or increase investments in technologies that help them go green, which suggests there may still be some confusion on what it means to “go green.”
  • Protection of customer and company data (73%) is the top security priority for IT decision-makers over the next 1 to 3 years.  The #2 priority during that time period is security systems management (65%).
  • Nearly 2/3 see the current economy as an opportunity for more investment in 1 or more techs.

    • 42% plan increased investment in virtualization

    • 36% plan increased investment in security

    • 24% plan increased investment in systems management 

Along these lines, InformationWeek ran an article today about Nissan (in the U.S.) shifting manufacturing and assembly plant costs through IT consolidation with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center Ops Manager and SCVMM. Here's an excerpt:

Over the course of a year, the engineers at Nissan's vehicle manufacturing plants in Smyrna and Dercherd, Tenn., have implemented virtualization to consolidate 159 servers used in assembly and component manufacturing down to 28.

 

The consolidation is impressive, not only for its scale, but for the fact that it's been carried out by manufacturing and quality assurance specialists outside the regular Nissan IT department. None of the servers involved were considered part of the business information services function, said Phil D'Antonio, department manager over conveyors and controls engineering in Nissan's Smyrna plant.

 

The consolidation has lead to a 34% savings in computer electricity consumption at the Smyrna plant, where preliminary measures have been made. "At Nissan, we're a (U.S. Dept. of Energy) Energy Star partner. It's very important to us to us to conserve energy and protect the environment," D'Antonio said.

 

Slipher said Nissan's priority isn't increasing the virtual machine count per server but bringing a similar level of virtualization to its Canton, Miss., assembly plant, where Quest minivans, Armada SUVs and Titan pick-ups are produced, as well as Altimas. The Smyrna and Canton plants together have a capacity of 950,000 vehicles a year, he said.

I hope you find these results informative to your business and career.

 

Patrick