Advice may appease the Board but it is not always taken
Sentrum, a specialist in data centre solutions, has today released findings from a new research report which highlight that 83% of IT Managers feel pressured to engage external consultants on data centre projects. Although 97% of the respondents across the UK and USA said that they were more confident in their own ability to make key decisions in this area, they also felt that they were being dictated to, from higher up within the business, to seek independent guidance.
The research found that whilst 48% of IT Managers are more likely to seek advice from consultants now than in 2008, there is the suggestion that a key factor behind this reasoning is as a result of pressure from the Board (48%) or the CFO (46%). 25% of the respondents also referenced additional pressures from other department heads, and 16% specifically mentioned shareholders.
The most common use of consultants in both the UK and USA is to advise on potential cost savings (53%) but half of those surveyed also engage them to provide strategic direction. Other factors include seeking advice about best practices for data centre procurement (41%), to develop specifications for new data centres (40%) or to ensure that their organisation meets compliance requirements (36%).
However, whilst in-house IT professionals might feel obliged to seek external expertise, 37% of the organisations that took part in the study said they used consultants simply to sanity check plans and to ensure that specifications that were developed internally were correct. 25% of organisations said they engage consultants purely to reassure the Board and/or Shareholders.
“It’s perhaps most interesting to note that whilst 97% of organisations that outsource their data centre space requirements have received advice from consultants on PUE in the last 12 months, a staggering 68% have not followed the advice given completely, if at all. Where is the value-add there?” said Franek Sodzawiczny, Chief Development Officer and Co-Founder at Sentrum. “In my opinion the true pressure on in-house IT professionals is how to respond quickly to changing market conditions whilst keeping within budget constraints and, at the same time, dealing with rising demands for more efficient data storage. Keeping the business running efficiently – in spite of all these challenges – is no mean feat so it’s good to see a trend which shows that IT professionals are more confident about trusting their own judgement.”