Ask a worker in the IT industry what “virtualization” means and they’ll probably tell you: “It allows multiple operating systems to run, at the same time, on one computer in a virtual space.” Ask a non-IT worker what it means and they’ll likely respond with: “Uhhh, errr, ummm… virtua – who?”
According to a recent study commissioned by a group of Cisco partner firms, approximately 40 percent of knowledge workers have never even heard of desktop or server virtualization. To top it off, only 34 percent believe that their workplaces utilize virtualization technologies, and over half (54 percent) of non-IT workers haven’t even heard of virtualization.
Perhaps the most significant finding, however, is that 80 percent of senior management, VPs and SVPs, don’t know how virtualization will benefit their business. In other words, only some of the top decision-makers in charge of implementing technologies!
It seems a bit of an understatement, then, when the Cisco partner firms prefaced the study with, “There exists a sizeable knowledge gap between what IT managers and CIOs are reporting about virtualization and what everyday workers know about the technology.” Um, yeah, we’d say so.
Other somewhat alarming findings from the study: 61 percent of all respondents said they didn’t know whether their work would benefit from virtualization, and only a mere 27 percent said they’re “very familiar” with the technology.
The laughable part, however, is that almost all of these respondents are, in fact, benefiting from virtualization technologies. Common applications, for instance, of virtualization that an everyday worker benefits from include disaster recovery, file recovery, remote desktop, file access, and software deployment.
Despite the knowledge gap, 46 percent of workers can access their work desktops from any device, 65 percent of workers who’ve had a virus on their work computers had it restored in one business day, and a majority of workers reported that software is automatically deployed onto their computers.
Maybe those who were unaware should be thanking their lucky stars for these technologies right about now.
According to the report, although virtualization offers many benefits to companies and workers, a technology must attain critical mass before it takes off. Virtualization obviously hasn’t reached this stage.
The group of firms suggest that in order to reduce this knowledge gap, is for CIOs and IT managers to host a couple informational sessions about how the office infrastructure helps support employees.