Managing Data Center Challenges – Proving Return On Investment

Stacks of dollar bills.

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016

Although investment in IT infrastructure continues to grow, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is still under considerable pressure to prove the financial returns on every single investment. For some projects this will be easier than others.

Proving the return on investment (ROI) of a new DR system is complex, but far less abstract than quantifying the financial implications of increased drive capacities.

ROI has become so important that it actually becomes a prominent factor in the purchasing process. Hardware, software, maintenance and services are all liable to the same level of scrutiny.

The problems of proving ROI

Creating a return on investment is obviously important to avoid wasted spend. But is a negligible positive return acceptable, or does it have to be more significant? And do the CTO and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) agree on what represents a satisfactory return?

And because your hardware is subject to frequent refresh, this ROI calculation needs to be repeated time and again. Ironically, few C-suite executives are interested in how the time spent recalculating ROI constantly actually eats into those returns.

Keeping hardware operational for longer

Perhaps the easiest way to boost IT ROI is simply by extending the lifespan of existing hardware. OEMs attach artificial end of service dates to their equipment, suggesting that it will no longer function correctly beyond that point.

But the reality is that these systems will continue to work perfectly for another three to five years when backed by a suitable maintenance and support contract. And the longer you can keep hardware running productively, the greater the return on original investment.

Even if existing systems no longer offer the speed or capacity required for line of business applications, they can still be redeployed for secondary applications. Using redundant disk arrays to replace slow, off-line tape archives increases the availability of legacy data for instance. Which means that you can begin to realize additional value from the information your organization already holds, simply because it is more easily accessed.

In this way your business can increase available ROI – which will be a pleasant surprise for your CFO.

For more help and advice on improving the ROI of your post-warranty EMC and NetApp storage, please get in touch.