Data Center Consolidation for a Multi-Cloud Era: Forrester Quantifies the Impact

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In today’s multi-cloud world, IT infrastructure executives and architects are positioning their data centers to be competitive in cost and agility with major cloud providers.  However, these multi-cloud infrastructure strategies are often impaired by outdated data center infrastructure, uncompetitive facilities, and legacy operational processes.  Dell Services consultants are working with clients around the world to drive data center modernization initiatives that result in lower operating costs, faster operational processes and more robust infrastructure and quickly realize their multi-cloud infrastructure strategy.

Full Report

Such data center transformation initiatives are time and resource-intensive, and some IT executives wonder how much of a benefit to expect.  We recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to utilize their Total Economic Impact methodology to thoroughly study these costs and benefits, and the newly-published study, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, provides strong evidence of substantial cost savings, even when compared against internal efforts to modernize data centers.

In this InFocus blog post, I’ll provide a high-level summary of Forrester’s findings and analysis. In upcoming blog posts, I’ll explain more about the quantitative results in the Forrester report and outline some of the qualitative benefits that Forrester reports.

Forrester Finds Enterprises Save Millions with Dell Approach


Forrester determined that Dell data center modernization and migration services delivered an optimized transformation of IT operations as disparate data centers are transformed into modern, standardized data centers.  In addition, Dell’s rigorous planning and robust toolsets provided a faster time to completion.  Quantitatively, Forrester’s financial model shows that a Dell data center modernization initiative provides a savings of $4m, with payback in 3.5 years, just 6 months after typical project completion, with a return on investment of 81%.

(Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, July 2017)

How did Forrester come up with these impressive figures?  First, they interviewed Dell services clients to understand the benefits they realized by choosing Dell data center modernization services.  These clients vary in size, are from a range of industries, and are in different parts of the world, to minimize any bias in selection.  Based on this information, Forrester creates a composite organization and financial model. Forrester’s composite organization is a global company with $20b in annual revenue, and 24,000 employees. From an IT standpoint, they have 12 data centers with inconsistent operating processes.

Forrester then compared the costs and benefits of a data center modernization and consolidation program led by Dell Services vs. managing the project in-house.

Dell Approach Cuts Years Off Program, Accelerating Savings

They found that the program led by Dell could accelerate the consolidation, cutting the duration nearly in half when compared with an in-house program, from 5 years to 3 years.  The reason this is so significant is that it means that the operating cost benefits are realized more quickly.  In the hundreds of transformation and consolidation programs which Dell Services has led we have also leveraged the consolidation to implement operational automation to make more robust and quickly executed operational processes, as well as accelerate server virtualization.  These efforts not only improve the speed and lower the risk of the consolidation program, but enable a lower operating cost profile after the consolidation effort is complete.  Finally, a Dell program saves the costs of paying extra staff to assist for an internally managed program. These operational cost savings are so significant that they more than offset the costs of hiring Dell to run the program.

(Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, The Total Economic Impact™ of Dell Data Center Modernization and Migration Services, July 2017)

In addition to these quantifiable benefits, Forrester finds important qualitative benefits with the Dell approach.  Because data center consolidation efforts are so significant, with many things changing in the environment, risks of an unplanned outage and service disruption can increase.  Dell Services minimizes this risk through careful planning of migration events to simultaneously migrate interdependent applications and data.  Another qualitative benefit is the increased agility from more effective automation of operational processes, which makes IT more responsive to application and business stakeholders.  Finally, IT organizations gain greater confidence from the business when they show that they can execute such a far-reaching program effectively.

Want to know more? Attend our upcoming Webcast:

Dell Data Center Modernization and Migration Services Deliver 81% ROI


About the Author: Ted Streck

An Experienced Manager with over 30 years industry experience delivering consulting services and IT solutions. Prior to joining Dell Technologies, Ted was a Vice President at a national ISP in charge of their IT Systems and operations. Prior to that Ted was the Vice President of a software development organization, where he was responsible for a 30 million dollar subsidiary. Additionally Ted was part of an acquisition team that acquired over a dozen smaller companies in the course of 25 months. At Dell EMC, Ted has successfully delivered projects that include Business Continuity/ Disaster Recovery strategy development, business requirements analysis and systems and application requirements analysis. Ted is experienced in operational management as well as project management and IT infrastructure strategy, implementation and support. Ted has considerable experience in Data Center Strategy, Server and Storage Consolidation and the migration of legacy technology, processes and organizations to new models. Ted is one of the original authors of the Dell EMC data center migration methodology.
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