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How do I justify data center expansion plans and expenditures?

Funding a data center project or an expansion requires building a business case that focuses on three areas.

What is the best way to build the case for your data center expansion needs and expenditures?

The way not to do it is to focus on any technical aspects. The business does not care whether its IT platform is built on the latest virtualized 64-bit super-whiz hardware, cooled by the breath of ice maidens, with an army of hamsters running in wheels providing power. Any request has to be presented in business terms. My recommendation is to focus on three areas.

The first is risk: How will the change in the data center reduce the business' risk?

The second is cost: How will the change reduce the business' costs?

The last one is value: How will the change enable the business to do more of what it already does at the same or better margin, or introduce a new product or service at a workable margin?

If you can show that what you are trying to do can positively impact these three areas for the business, you will be likely to gain a positive decision from those who hold the purse strings.

And remember: Data center expansion may not be the right approach. As hybrid cloud is increasingly used, a flexible data center that can grow or shrink may be more important.

About the author:

Clive Longbottom is the co-founder and service director of IT research and analysis firm Quocirca, based in the U.K. Longbottom has more than 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in chemical engineering, he's worked on automation, control of hazardous substances, document management and knowledge management projects.
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