If we are being honest, we have to admit that the implementation of a DCIM solution is not for the faint of heart. Projects of this kind are rife with challenges beyond simply the technical. While many actually enjoy this kind of disruptive evolution in their own environments, the challenges tend to also become political and logistical.

It is then not surprising that many CFOs think thrice before embarking on what they expect to be a very difficult and frustrating journey.

Software manufacturers started to categorize their wares as Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions shortly after the Power Usage Effectiveness metric was introduced (circa 2007). At the time, many were trying to be primarily glorified dashboards for PUE. However, they have evolved to cover much more than that. Especially in light of some of the PUE shortcomings (see previous post: http://dcim.tumblr.com/post/144655269758/the-lackluster-power-usage-effectiveness-metric).

Nevertheless, PUE had the advantage of being simple to understand. Furthermore, its metrics, in many ways, could be worked with and improved upon with many of the tools provided by the facilities and their BMS systems. As stated above, however, DCIM has evolved and expanded in areas not covered by BMS (see post: http://dcim.tumblr.com/post/147710267208/dcim-or-bms-using-the-proper-tool-for-the-proper )

So, what is a CEO/CFO to do? How can they decode the value of the DCIM offerings available? How can they identify the key drivers that would justify a DCIM implementation? Or delaying one?

In many ways, CFOs are strange and wild creatures, akin to untameable Dragons. One should approach them with extreme caution. Fortunately, an ancient technique exists to persuade them not immediately devour any and all who dare to approach them. It starts by uttering the magic words “RETURN ON INVESTMENT.”

Of course, this will only hold them still for a few moments; typically just long enough to feed them with the details on how and why they should accomplish said ROI.

Indeed, are there any savings in DCIM? If affirmative, it makes the ROI calculation so much simpler and attractive.

Let us look at some areas where very tangible savings may lie in wait.

Reducing
OpEx
is definitely a big opportunity for achieving significant economies. Decreasing power consumption, for example, can have a very quick and substantial impact to the bottom line (another magical phrase). DCIM can definitely assist in identifying the power usage hogs.

Rationalizing
new and existing investments
will help get the most out of the infrastructure. This is part of efficient planning that in turn can assist the agile enterprise.

Monitoring
and maintenance
. The proactive scheduling of preventive maintenance or the monitoring of the vital signs of the infrastructure will maintain the high availability of business services. Outages can tarnish reputations and shake customer confidence. Savings here are a little harder to evaluate, but VERY real nonetheless.

Improved
productivity
of the IT staff can either reduce the workload or enable them to accomplish more which will lead to increased revenues. In addition, the expertise and knowledge of the infrastructure will eventually be accumulated within the DCIM and will protect against loss of important personnel. It will also facilitate staff training.

The above is a fraction of DCIM potential benefits. Basic needs apply to almost every situation, but requirements vary among vastly different environments. The targets and goals for each implementation have to be properly evaluated.

Datacenter Clarity LC provides a ROI Calculator tool (https://datacenter.mayahtt.com/dcim-roi-calculator/) that can help dragons assess the epic battle that lies ahead.