Financial CIOs Get Real About Virtual IT

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Servers Down, Desktops to Go That sums up the attitude toward virtualization held by many CIOs who attended the CIO Forum's Financial Services Summit, held recently in downtown Manhattan. Dozens of IT leaders from top financial institutions gathered to discuss the technology issues of the day, and it was no surprise that virtualization was top of mind as a way to cut costs and improve management efficiency. In data centers, the value proposition of virtualization is well-known and the movement from physical to virtual servers ('P-to-V in CIO parlance) is well underway at most financial firms. On the desktop, virtualization of PC images seems like the next logical step to many CIOs. However, many are realizing that virtualizing systems that largely run in the background of a business (servers in the data center) differs quite a bit from virtualizing systems that thousands of employees interact with almost every minute of the day. Primary motivations for moving PCs from physical desktops to virtual workloads in a data center also differ from those of server virtualization; improved security and control of the endpoint environment is the goal here, as opposed to the gargantuan cost savings that drive so many server virtualization projects. This report examines the motivations and challenges in virtualizing both server and desktop systems, based on major initiatives and plans discussed at the summit's Think Tank sessions. From the experiences of these early adopters, two things become clear: Virtualization in the enterprise is here to stay, and vendors looking to sell to enterprises today and in the future better realize this and adapt their strategies accordingly.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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