8. The hybrid datacenter will be more popular than pure private or public clouds. Forrester customers are clear: hybrid datacenters with a mix of on-premises virtual resources and off-premises cloud workloads are the future, and the future is now. Stop worrying about whether your shared virtualized environment is a true "private cloud" and focus instead on extending it to include public cloud infrastructure and applications. Stop buying infrastructure management tools and start buying tools that let you easily provision and auto-configure complex services. Infrastructure templates and application patterns will become increasingly important this year. Your business customers want you to deliver IT services, not infrastructure.
9. Your CFO will demand cost transparency for virtual environments. Expect to see much more senior management interest in the cost of virtual environments in 2013. Do you know the incremental cost to deploy a new virtualized application into your current environment? Do you track the annualized cost to manage and maintain a VM, including its underlying storage and network infrastructure? If not, spend time this year to up your IT financial management game. Virtualized workloads are easier to move out of your datacenter and not just to the cloud-hosting providers want the business, too. Make sure you can explain your virtualized workload unit costs when it comes time to defend them.
What do you see in store for your virtual environment this year? What's keeping you up at night, and what's the one thing you want to fix first? I'd love to hear your plans to drive new value from your virtualization efforts in 2013.
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