Over the past decade, businesses of all sizes have been virtualizing servers, applications, and
desktops at a rapid pace—with technology research firm Gartner estimating that at least half
of businesses globally have deployed some form of virtualization. Interestingly, for the first
time, smaller businesses are expected to be more aggressive about virtualizing higher proportions of their IT assets: By 2014, 38 percent of such businesses will have virtualized more
than 80 percent of their infrastructure, according to a 2012 study by analysis firm Canalys.
But what about the companies left behind? The ones that either haven’t yet virtualized or
that have only experimented with virtualization in test environments? What’s stopping them?
When asked about the top barriers to virtualizing, IT managers at smaller enterprises cite
two critical factors: the upfront costs and too small a staff to adequately support
virtualization. According to a VMware survey, 36 percent of these companies have
hesitated to virtualize based on these two factors alone.
In an ironical twist, however, two of the biggest benefits of virtualization are cutting
costs and freeing up employees’ time. Thus, rather than being obstacles, these factors
represent the valuethat virtualization offers businesses.