For large enterprises with lots of employees and hardware, the payoff seen from virtualizing IT infrastructure can be immediate and quite dramatic. For smaller operations, the benefits may be smaller in scale, but they're no less significant. If anything, they can be even more valuable to companies with fewer people and fewer dollars to spare.
Reason number one: it saves money. As previously discussed, one of the biggest advantages presented by virtualization is the amount of money it can save a company. By reducing the need for physical hardware, not only are the upfront costs reduced, but the cost of upkeep, security and even cooling that hardware can be eliminated.
While some virtualization and cloud-based software solutions may seem pricey, there are typically more affordable options available and in most cases, the costs incurred are lower than those required to support full-time IT team, physical servers, hardware and ongoing maintenance.
Improve Efficiency and Flexibility
When IT infrastructure is virtualized, any maintenance and IT support that does need to be administered can be efficiently managed from a single administrative interface. This makes the IT work easier to perform, allowing technical teams to focus on other, higher-level projects.
For some companies, it can help support remote working, as the technical staff can efficiently make updates and fixes without having to physically be in the same location as the server or user's machine.
Perhaps most importantly, by not having meager IT resources focused on on-site hardware and putting out security-related fires, many small companies are more flexible and be in a better position to quickly respond to rapid changes in their given industry.
Better IT Stability and Less Downtime
Depending on the type of business, technical mishaps and downtime can be crippling. In severe cases, they can hurt customer relationships, frustrate partner business and permanently damage the viability of the company. The extra efficiency and stability offered by virtualization can reduce issues and ensure downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.
In a virtualized environment, disaster recovery is also made much more cost-effective for SMBs, many of whom can't afford to maintain the off-site infrastructure required to back everything up and quickly bring things back online in the event of a disaster.
Keeping it Green
In addition to saving money and making the operation run more smoothly, virtualization is better for the environment, which is an increasingly important consideration for businesses and consumers alike these days. Naturally, one server running a dozen virtualized partitions is going to use up less energy than twelve separate servers would.
For businesses, this has less of an immediate impact on the bottom line, but it's still something to be proud of and in many cases, something to tout to consumers.