The days have gone when IT firms used to partner with a single strategic vendor for end-to-end data services. These days, expectations from IT related decision makers are very high. They are expected to make decisions that take into account the quality of technology, cost, as well as account for capabilities, all in the context of delivering business solutions. In pursuit of meeting the objectives, modern data centers are embracing a huge variety of support and Data Center Procurement alternatives, which were almost disregarded in the past, including multi-vendor environment, pre-owned equipment, and third party maintenance. But, the question is how prevalent are these approaches? What roles are the procurement and IT departments taking in affecting these changes? The answer lies ahead.
What are the Key Findings?
- Last two years have seen a huge growth in maintenance alternatives and pre-owned equipment.
- 92% of users use third-party maintenance, pre-owned equipment, and multi-vendor infrastructure.
- 60% IT companies have increased the use of multi-vendor infrastructure, third-party maintenance or pre-owned equipment in 2015, and around 54% have planned to amp it up in 2016.
- There has been an increase in maintenance alternatives and pre-owned equipment due to unfavorable circumstances. New technologies enabling flexible architectures, availability of better alternatives and the need for negotiating power – all these have driven the growth in the last few years.
- Most of the equipment purchasers want choice and flexibility – 90% think they can reap benefits in the third-party maintenance of data center equipment including optimized spending, vendor flexibility, and lower costs.
- 96% of people can see the advantages in retaining vendor flexibility, minimizing the risk of vendor lock-in and optimized spending.
- Around 42% of IT, firms are of the opinion that the procurement processes are getting better and about 14% think they are getting worse. IT decision makers value those staff, who bring in positive changes in financial situation and technology.
Omnipresence of Non-traditional Data Center Procurement Environments
The data center procurement environments of today have moved away from the conventional single-vendor approach, which persuades them to switch to a single OEM for support and purchasing. Survey says that almost all the IT companies (around 90%) have reported the use of third party maintenance, multi-vendor approach and pre-owned equipment in their data centers.
Non-traditional approaches are still used extensively. Around 53% (more than half) use the old or pre-used equipment. Two out of three use third party maintenance alternatives, while the use of multi-vendor equipment is quite common and was reported to be close to 85%. Different types of equipment require altogether different approach. For instance, networking equipment is most likely to go for a third party maintenance than for a multi-vendor approach.
Poor Purchase Decisions and Outside Influences
Even when there are reports of IT decision makers taking the wrong steps, statistics indicate that the situation is improving slowly. Almost all IT decision makers at some point make purchasing decisions for their data centers due to certain influencing reasons like – vendor requirements, internal policies, and purchasing procedures. As per a survey, some IT giants revamped their equipment, even before it was required based on vendor requirement (55%) and internal policies (52%). More than half, around 56% opine that the standard purchasing procedure has prompted them to make an IT purchase, even though it was not a right decision for the budget and technology needs of the business.
How 2016 will be a Room for More Growth?
Companies have started embracing the non-traditional approach to data center procurement support and purchasing. However, there is still some room for more. More than half (55%) still make use of single-vendor approach for many components in their data centers, with the networking equipment scoring high, while servers and storage faring low. The enormous level of growth in support and purchasing alternatives is evident in all areas. Third party maintenance and multi-vendor approaches will see a big jump in 2016, with Europe witnessing the highest growth in multivendor environments.