Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of Virtualization

In my last post I explained how small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are using virtualization to reduce IT costs and increase productivity and flexibility. These benefits are driving more than three-quarters of SMBs to invest in virtualization deployments, according to research firm Techaisle.

Techaisle also notes that 72 percent of SMBs say virtualization is relevant to their business. However, only 60 percent say that their virtualization projects were successful. While just 2 percent said those projects were abject failures, 38 percent of SMBs labeled their virtualization deployments as only partially successful.

No one ever received a raise or promotion for a “partial success.” It’s important that SMBs understand the long-term costs and risks of a poorly executed virtualization deployment so that they can gain maximum value from the technology.

The most common causes of a less-than-successful virtualization deployment are fairly simple:

  • Lack of Understanding. You don’t need to understand all technical aspects of virtualization but you should ensure that your technology solution provider has the foundational knowledge necessary to evaluate your options, answer all your questions and help you make sound decisions. Don’t rush into any decisions that could cost you money because you don’t understand what you’re buying.
  • Inadequate Planning. SMBs need to go into a virtualization project knowing what they expect to achieve from the technology. You can’t implement an effective solution unless you’ve clearly defined areas for improvement and what a virtualization solution should allow you to accomplish. Doing this homework in advance will save you money and make for a much smoother deployment.
  • Budget Overruns. While virtualization can deliver cost savings, it does require significant upfront investments. You need to have a clear picture of the capital and operational costs involved and enter the project with a concrete budget. You should also ensure that the virtualization platform is scalable and aligned with your business processes, and delivers the performance, security and data protection you require.

Choosing the right virtualization platform is important. You should work with a solution provider who has your best interests in mind and can guide you from a vendor-agnostic perspective. You will inevitably encounter a “solution provider” who tries to win your business based on price. Cheap hardware and software tends to be difficult to manage and scale, making it more expensive in the long run.

Expertise is even more critical. Partner with a solution provider who can design and implement a virtualization platform that meets your needs today and five years into the future — with minimal business disruption.

Bottom line: Virtualization is a game-changing technology that can have a dramatic impact on your business processes and IT costs. As a result, it’s not an IT project to be taken lightly. If virtualization does make sense for your business, work with a solution provider such as Abba Technologies who can help you design and deploy a solution that helps your organization become more efficient and productive while reducing operational costs.