Step back for a second to think about what the IT staff really has to deal with on a day-to-day basis: servers, hypervisors, storage devices, network accelerators, backup software, backup appliances, replication technology, and a whole lot more. Forget for a moment about the physical effects of this plethora of equipment on the data center. Instead, consider the human toll.

Every one of these devices has a separate administrative con- sole that operators have to learn. Also — let’s face reality — not every device plays nicely with every other device.

When each device requires vastly different sets of skills to operate, each skill requires ongoing training. Even when you can get a few people in IT trained on everything in the data center, at some point those people may move on, and you may have trouble finding new employees who have the same set of skills.

In addition, every time you bring a unique resource into the environment, you need staff to manage it. As that resource grows, you may need even more staff to keep up with the workload. In essence, you’re creating resource islands as you forge ahead.

Resource islands are inherently inefficient. The broader you can make the IT environment, the easier it is to achieve operational economies of scale.

The bottom line: IT staffs are being crushed under the weight of legacy infrastructure. Each unique resource requires unique skills, and companies aren’t adding IT staff at a pace that keeps up with technical needs.