I was looking over a recent poll from LinkedIn (Click here for Poll) and it revealed many things about what businesses want from virtualization. Being that LinkedIn is a professional-centric site, this could offer some great insight to VMware and other virtualization vendors with respect to actual customer demand in the market.
By far, the greatest percentage of respondents, 39%, are looking for reduced costs from virtualization. Second, at 29%, was business continuity. High availability followed at 22% . Server consolidation and fast installation were nearly tied at 4% and 3% respectively. With the economy in the condition it is, this is almost the expected result, so I won't say that there is anything surprising here. It is when you break down the respondent pool by Job Title, Company Size, Job Function, Gender and Age that you get some more interesting results. I won't break every single demographic down for you, as you can look at the link yourself, but I do want to highlight something that struck me as interesting.
Almost all of the demographic groups gave pretty expected results across the board. Nothing caught my eye until I saw this particular breakdown.
As you can see from the title of the chart, this is the distribution by age. There is a huge difference between what the youngest age group and the oldest age group see as most important. It would seem that the younger IT staff value High Availability above all, the same as all other objectives combined. I wonder why this is? Could it be that the pervasiveness of social media and web based applications (which are mainly consumed by people 34 and under) have driven an expectation that services must always be available? Is Facebook that important? What about the other extreme of the age spectrum?Is lower cost more important than anything else in IT?
I think that the younger generation is closer to reality than the older generation, but not 100% accurate. I would argue that high availability is more important than lower cost, but about the same as (or slightly lower than) business continuity. I consider server consolidation about the same as (if not slightly lower than) low cost. Fast installation probably falls in last place. Naturally, these priorities will shift (even dramatically) between different business types, but without high availability and business continuity, you have no business to drive revenue. Everything is second to those two. The fact that low cost is the most important aspect to the older generation perhaps shows that they are more cost conscious having seen many generations (iterations) of IT over their careers. This is not a bad thing at all, and you always need this perspective and experience on staff. I would only say that low cost is definitely not the most important aspect of virtualization.
Again, the poll was based on the question "Which benefit would you want most from virtualizing your business?" This question naturally asks about a 'want' and thus makes it widely open to interpretation. It doesn't necessarily say that the polling group weighed the options against each other and aligned them with business goals. It simply says that this is what they wanted over something else.
What else did you find interesting? I'm always interested in input from the field.