Data center costs and other (lost) details

A new survey indicates organizations don’t really know the detailed cost breakdowns of their data centers.

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A new IT study found that the majority of organizations did not have a detailed breakdown of costs for their data centers. A majority as in 72 percent. A detailed breakdown of costs as in how much money they are spending on power, facilities, hardware, software, storage staffing, maintenance, etc.

I don’t know about you all, but that surprises me.

The study, “A Peep Into Data Center Economics -- Analyzing Challenges & Opportunities,” was conducted by Indian IT services provider Wipro Technologies and Outsourcing Center, an online site that provides articles, insights and other resources and is part of the Alsbridge Company. The survey interviewed 75 CIOs and heads of IT from Fortune 1000 companies across the United States, Europe and APAC and focused on gleaning insigts about the current state of their organizations’ data centers and better understand their the attitudes and challenges towards data center optimization. The participants represent a range of industries including retail, financial services, transportation/logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and telecommunications.

So on to the findings. Again, nearly three-fourths of all the participants said they don’t know the detailed cost breakdown of each data center. And most only know portions of the costs, not the whole cost picture. In the report, Rajan Sampath, Wipro’s head of data center transformation services, says he doesn’t think it is surprising that organizations don’t know. Maybe it isn’t. But clearly the information is something they should know, as Sampath astutely points out. “If these organizations don’t know where the costs are going, how can they know where to invest money to make improvements in efficiency? It’s likely that these organizations have been spending money on things that are less critical or important,” he said, in the report.

By the way, a little less than a third (31 percent) said their current data center costs are worrisome for their business. Nearly half, or 44 percent, said that data center costs were not a concern for them! Survey participants that did have a handle on their data center costs said their biggest costs were related to the facility itself – building allocations, for instance.

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