Taking advantage of server virtualization is a significant challenge at companies that are new to it. The change is a fundamental shift, not simply a tweaking of how IT operates. It calls for a new mentality among executives, IT personnel, and all other stakeholders in the company—which in today’s connected, digital world is almost everybody in the organization.
To shepherd in a change of such magnitude, organizations need to take advantage of all opportunities to advance implementation. There are specific steps organizations can take to foster adoption of server virtualization, including:
Developing training programs to educate IT staff and users on how best to utilize the technology. Recognize and be patient with the learning curve, but also actively work to shorten it. It’s important to make this an ongoing effort, because the nature of server virtualization lends itself to rapid assimilation of new applications and procedures. If you’re working with outside vendors, they will often help provide this training.
Enlist advocates to promote the change internally. This can be done informally, but the best approach is to form a core group of genuine proponents from across the organization to explain and champion server virtualization, as well as to ensure that the interests of all functional areas of the company are integrated into decision making.
Focus early efforts on automating monotonous, tedious tasks. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t plan for long-term “big picture” results, but you will achieve much greater buy-in from stakeholders if they immediately benefit from simplified work processes.
Show appreciation for innovation. Server virtualization means moving away from a “the way it’s always been done” mindset. To achieve the greatest acceptance and collaboration when implementing server virtualization, work to make innovation a key aspect of the organizational culture in all areas. Outside-the-box thinking is contagious, and it’s the type of thinking that’s necessary when adjusting to the sweeping transformation of server virtualization.
- Successful implementation of server virtualization isn’t just going to happen, even with the best technical planning. Employees—technical and nontechnical—must be taught how to best utilize the new technology.
- Don’t assume that server virtualization will be embraced by the organization as a whole. A concerted advocacy effort can help defuse any resistance.
- Making it easier for people to do their jobs will win vital acceptance and encourage further exploration of server virtualization’s potential.
- Reward creative thinking.