January 12, 2012

Virtualization and the server consolidation that it delivers will be the top priority for chief information officers in 2012, according to a survey by the research firm IDC. Savings from server consolidation will be invested in new IT initiatives such as cloud computing, mobility, data analytics, and use of social media for business purposes.

When CIOs were asked by IDC to name their top three IT priorities for this year, nearly 40 percent of them picked virtualization and server consolidation, more than any other area of IT. After virtualization, investment in cloud services came in second, followed by collaboration tools, business analytics, and the consolidation of application portfolios.

While IDC ranks CIO priorities, another research firm, Gartner, scaled back its IT spending increase forecast for 2012 to 3.7% growth, down from an earlier forecast of 4.6%.

Virtualization and server consolidation, along with cloud computing, are all part of a wider enterprise goal of reducing IT complexity, said David McNally, IT executive advisor at IDC, in a Webcast Tuesday. And savings from server consolidation will be reinvested in four main "pillars" of IT, he said: cloud; mobile, data analytics, and social business.

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