New Study: More optimisation potential in IT than expected

New findings on the status quo in data centres and about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the IT sector

About three quarters of companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have noticed negative effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis. About the same number are looking for possibilities to reduce the costs of operating their data centres without having to accept any sacrifices in quality. These are the results of a new study from Technogroup IT-Service GmbH, the European market leader in third-party maintenance in data centres. But the study has also shown that despite increased cost pressure, optimisation potential remains unused in many IT departments.

A total of 359 decision-makers and experts from IT, commercial management and purchasing from companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were surveyed for the study “Challenges to IT infrastructure in the times of the COVID-19 crisis” .

60 per cent of those surveyed assessed the efforts of their senior management to cut costs for hardware and IT as high or very high. Nevertheless, investments in infrastructure hardware have developed in a balanced manner in comparison with 2019. Nearly three quarters of the study participants stated that in their view the IT budget would even have to rise to meet the challenges of digitisation as well as innovations such as AI, IoT etc. “Costs and digitisation are coming together here,” explains Klaus Stöckert, CEO of the Technogroup and Evernex Managing Director Central, Northern & Eastern Europe. “Which means potential savings have to be identified to allow the possibilities for investment in central digitisation targets. And these exist.”

According to the analysts from Gartner, the change from hardware maintenance carried out by manufacturers to cross-manufacturer maintenance (third-party maintenance) reveals potential savings up to 70 per cent. But according to the Technogroup survey, one third of those surveyed are unaware of the concept of third-party maintenance (TPM) and a further 54 per cent are aware of it but do not use it. In this context, a good three quarters of study participants think cooperating with TPM providers is a sensible alternative to manufacturer maintenance in order to extend use of hardware beyond the warranty and service periods. An important point, because more than two thirds of those surveyed also use hardware after the manufacturers’ service periods.

In addition, heterogeneity in data centres is rising. Only eleven per cent of study participants stated that they use hardware components exclusively from one manufacturer in their data centres. Proactive maintenance of IT systems is important or very important to 86 per cent. This recognises problems early and avoids malfunctions, which are known to be expensive. But only just under half of the companies operate active IT monitoring.

The study also asked about another possibility to optimise costs: the use of refurbished hardware. Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed think professionally-prepared and quality-assured used hardware components are partly or fully a sensible alternative to new equipment in order to relieve budgets and protect the environment. But only 15 per cent use this hardware in data centres so far.

“A clear discrepancy can be recognised,” says Stöckert. “If, as at the moment in many IT departments, requirements rise but resources of both staff and budgets are limited, process optimisation is the order of the day. Taking a new look at previous processes can make unused potential clear.” You can download the study with all the results here or on request.

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