Virtualizing IT resources can lead to savings of over 50 percent in hardware, maintenance, and energy costs in a data center. The transitional cost of virtualizing large-scale IT infrastructures is hard to estimate, however. If not planned correctly, it can often outweigh the benefits of virtualization for several years. This chapter outlines a "divide and conquer" approach to planning and cost estimation for virtualization transformations. This enables an organization to plan and execute complex virtualization transformations while maximizing its return on investment (ROI) within a favorable payback period.
For many IT departments, recent years have seen a shift in focus. Limited resources have left staff spending more time and effort maintaining old systems while project work remains on hold, often to the detriment of the entire business. IT directors are faced with the challenge of transforming their departments from a perceived cost center back to a value add, an innovation powerhouse that contributes to the organization's success.