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Many data centers grow into a “Frankenstein” operation through years of cycling people, hardware and software. IT leaders want to consolidate and streamline, but they don’t know everything that resides in their data center. They thus fight a time-consuming battle just managing the complexity in system interactions and dependencies.

While there are opportunities within the data center to save money and make IT more predictable, migrations are not easy. They require dedicated finances and resources and may take as long as 18 months.

To help you examine the costs and benefits of a data center migration for your business, here are seven steps to guide you:

  1. Do your financial due diligence of the total cost—including assets and labor—as well as the benefits to determine if the migration is worthwhile.
  1. Complete a strategic assessment starting with an in-depth inventory of assets, applications and dependencies. This is also the time to consider a hybrid cloud.
  1. Set up the new house with contract negotiations for data center space as well as the telecom and network infrastructure, power and structured cabling, and cloud connectivity.
  1. Assign an internal team including an executive committee to oversee the migration and dedicated IT resources to perform tasks for the duration of the project.
  1. Get outside help or else the migration will wear your staff out; outside help not only balances the workload, but also give you access to expertise.
  1. Execute your strategy and formulate move groups, each responsible for a piece of the migration. Start with a trial run with a non-critical app to expose the entire team to the migration and build confidence.
  1. Consider maturity options now that you’ve amassed information on assets and dependencies. This is the perfect opportunity to put that data into an ITSM tool so you can efficiently and cost-effectively deliver service improvements.

To find out more, read how companies that strategically confront their data centers find opportunities to rationalize, consolidate and optimize their data centers. You can also download mini white papers that identify the crucial steps to a high-efficiency data center at