Businesses in Singapore are planning to embark on a software-defined enterprise journey within the next two years, revealed a recent VMware study.
The study unveiled that 74 percent of the respondents expect their companies to be 60 to 90 percent virtualised by 2016. It was also found that businesses in the highly virtualised category are expected to almost triple from 15 to 44 percent in the next two years.
According to VMware, the study polled 1,593 IT managers and decision makers from Singapore from September to October 2014. Respondents were asked to share their perspectives on their IT priorities in 2015, and the role of virtualisation and software-defined data centres in Singapore.
The move towards virtualisation, especially in terms of adopting software-defined data centres, can be attributed to the technology advantages of virtualisation. Since Singapore faces land and labour crunch, businesses in the republic are turning to such technologies to improve operational efficiency (26 percent) and optimise resource utilisation (25 percent).
For instance, adopting a software-defined data centre will reduce the physical storage required, as well as spending on hardware, power and cooling. According to market research firm IDC, enterprises in Singapore will be able to avoid US$4.7 billion in costs between 2003 and 2020 as a result of virtualising compute, storage and networking hardware, and leveraging a software-defined approach to managing IT. Just from 2014 to 2020, firms in the republic that embrace virtualisation can expect savings of US$1.4 billion from hardware, US$61 million from real estate/maintenance, US$507 million from administration, and US$1.3 billion from power and cooling.
"IT has traditionally been a cost centre for the organisation but it now has an opportunity to become a business partner by generating tangible business benefits through IT outcomes," said Sanjay Michandani, VMware's senior vice president and general manager for APJ, at a media briefing. "IT has to adapt to drive new business models by boosting agility and productivity levels," he added.
Barriers to adoption
Despite the strong interest around new technologies, not many enterprises in Singapore would place the implementation of such technologies as their top business priority. Lack of funds (27 percent) and business culture (25 percent) were cited as the top barriers to adoption.
To overcome this, Michandani advised IT leaders to have a greater alignment of IT projects to measurable business outcomes. By doing so, the top management will be able to better understand the significance of such projects and see the need to appropriate or find the necessary funds to deliver those capabilities, he said.
"Organisations need to focus on how new technologies such as virtualisation can deliver greater business value," said Sandra Ng, IDC Asia Pacific's group vice president for practice group. "Simply being able to virtualise some servers has limited value, but when combined with a highly automated infrastructure, IT departments can deliver a degree of IT agility that the business has been demanding. "
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