Evernex study finds untapped potential for optimization and savings in data centers

For companies everywhere, dual pressures of cost optimization and digitization have intensified since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the global crisis highlighted the need for greater investment into digital, all businesses have had to revaluate their spending to cope with the economic downturn that has threatened their profitability, and not uncommonly, their survival.

So, what’s the solution? Process optimization: identifying and implementing new ways to cut costs and free up budgets for investment. But as shown in a recent Evernex study, ‘IT leaders’ reaction to economic uncertainty and digitalisation’, opportunities are still being missed.

What did the study find out?

The study compiled 359 answers from IT professionals in management, operations, and commercial roles. Of the three-quarters of companies that were negatively affected by the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, approximately one-third reacted with budget cuts, 60% postponed investments, and the same percentage assessed the efforts of their managers to cut costs on hardware and IT as high or very high.

In spite of cutbacks, investments in hardware continued to increase: 60% invested the same or more in infrastructure in 2020 as in 2019. This indicates that despite pressures to reduce spending, few opportunities are seen – but they do exist, and IT professionals should be relieved to learn that they don’t require sacrifices on performance or reliability.

Infrastructures are becoming more complex and long-lasting

Infrastructure is becoming more heterogeneous – from 2019 to 2020, the proportion of participants operating hardware from just one manufacturer decreased by almost 50%. In 2020, 60% of participants using hardware from up to five different manufacturers, and 18% five and above.

It is likely that this increasing heterogeneity is partly responsible for the nearly one third of participants who reported they require the use of external partners to operate their data centers in addition to their own staff.

Also, hardware is now operated for much longer than the Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEMs’) stipulated service periods. In 2019, Evernex found almost 60% use data center hardware for up to ten years or more and just 3% saw the OEM’s product lifecycle as obligatory.

Moreover, in 2019, 37% saw OEM’s guidelines as a sales argument for new hardware, and 28% thought they weren’t to be taken seriously. This trend was replicated in 2020, with only 2% stating they use their equipment according to the warranty period, and the majority (68%) used it beyond End of Service Life (EOSL).

Accordingly, 68% answered ‘Yes, partly’ to whether they use long-term service agreements with individual OEMs. But this leaves us with the question: who carries out the rest of the maintenance?

It is clear, the more complex and heterogenous an IT infrastructure, the greater the level and breadth of expertise needed to cater to each model and brand, and thus, the more staff-intensive the support.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, staff and skills shortages mean it’s difficult, if not impossible, to recruit or afford to employ necessary specialists in-house to ensure round-the-clock and on-call technical service for critical systems.

Third-Party Maintenance: the path to optimization

More than 76% of the study participants were actively looking for possibilities to cut costs while upholding the quality of their IT operations. And while 83% of the market was looking for solutions to this issue, among our clients this figure was only 39%.

As a leading provider of Third-Party Maintenance (TPM), Evernex offers the solution: on-demand and customizable maintenance for global and multi-vendor infrastructures, with up to 70% savings compared to the OEM with less admin, cost-effective refurbished parts, and flexible contracts.

Despite the savings, one third of the participants stated they were unaware of TPM. And of the participants that were aware, more than half did not use it. This is surprising, when 76% of those surveyed said they saw working with a TPM partner to be a sensible alternative to manufacturer maintenance to extend the life of hardware beyond the OEM’s service period.

By outsourcing hardware maintenance to Evernex, companies can free up their IT budget and unlock cost-efficient processes to drive their business. Download the complete study and learn more about the cost-optimization opportunities for your data center.

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