How an enterprise approaches virtualization differs in the way it has traditionally deployed business critical applications.

The expectations for deploying Tier 1 applications prepared the enterprise for a lengthly endeavor. It was never done piecemeal. It involved the entire organization. Why? The applications changed the roles that people played. Business processes were affected. It had to be viewed holistically.

But in today's world, virtualization is often stalled because companies decide to take a "let's start small," approach.

A post on CRN takes a deep look at the issue of piecemeal strategies:

But the most common virtualization stall scenario begins when organizations start from the bottom up with virtualization, deploying it in piecemeal fashion for small, specific workloads. The cost benefits become quickly apparent, and companies increase the scope of their virtualization efforts, but they often fail to account for the business impact the technology can exert on operations, particularly in terms of roles, responsibilities and accountability.

"No one would ever say, 'Let's deploy an enterprise application from SAP or Oracle (NSDQ:ORCL) for a small point solution, and if it runs well we'll expand it.' But virtualization is deployed that way every single day," said Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization practices at INX, a Houston, Texas-based solution provider.

The too-often result is an enterprise that runs short on resources. There's an underestimation. The virtualization becomes ineffective without proper planning. Often, companies will end up buying more servers to make up for the poor performance.

Another leading factor is the lack of interest in virtualizing Tier 1 apps. As CRN points out, the problem is usually associated with concerns that the virtualization technology can't handle it. That's despite the numerous examples of virtualization working just fine with Tier 1 apps.

The answer? Treat virtualization as an enterprise deployment. Realize that it will force changes in the organization. Roles will shift. Processes will change. And in the end, savings will be realized.