Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Spot a Technically Efficient Company

These characteristics are great indications of an efficiently run IT organization.
1. Virtualization
2. Data center power management- Green Power
3. Process Management
4. Open Source

1. Although virtualization is available for any platform. It has been around for years. It makes CPU utilization far more efficient. Companies still exist that are afraid of the technology. Not only does virtualization enable cost savings from less servers, it reduces the power usage overall. Every aspect of virtualization is a positive one. Plus greater flexibility in disaster and recovery options.
2. Efficient power usage in data centers are another area of huge advances. Not only does virtualization reduce power usage but I would invite everyone to watch the YouTube video on Google's Data center. Notice they claim to be at 99% efficiency. Not only are they reducing the cost to run the data center they fill the racks with specially designed CPU that are also designed to be as cheap as possible. I know most companies still equate cost of servers with capability.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/02/googles-data-center-secrets-revealed/

Further research online of the big players in the space will point to Amazon and Google as being the leaders. They have developed models that squeeze every bit of CPU out of what they have first before adding additional servers.

3. The process management is a tough one. It's a little more nebolous and can be decieving. Everyone says they have one. I like to judge the process by viewing or asking how many projects made it into production before being cancelled. Think of it as the batting average for the organization. Continuing with the baseball analogy I would guess that 1 out of 3 is a good ratio. If you start to hear numbers like 1 out of 10 thats bad. That to me is an idication that there is poor leadership, lack of execution, and the process of start to finish is probably broken. I would even suggest this is the case if the number is closer to 1 out of 5. If you hear a number like 2 out of 3 they are probably lying. Like I said its a nebolous line of success that can depend on a lot of factors.

4. Utilization of Open Source tools and software. The time is now. I am not going to say that open source is better because it is free. However, there are open source OS options that can reduce licensing costs for desktops. There are legitimate options on every level and even hardware that utilize open source. I will agree open source can be the best option in some cases. I know companies that don't even evaluate open source options because they are open source and think they can't get support for it.

Overall these items are critical. Couple the economic times that are forcing cost savings and I would say this list becomes even more important. I know the companies that emerge from this time to compete online will be the best in using these pieces of technology.

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