With training costing as much as $5,000 per course, IT workers might not get budget approval. Gartner's Haight recommends assembling a group of individuals from the entire IT organization into a center of excellence of sorts. That would enable the sharing of knowledge about virtualization throughout the organization.
"We surveyed IT managers about virtualization skills, and about one-quarter of respondents had a negative perspective about being able to retain those skills in-house," Haight says. "Disseminating the knowledge across a team would make an organization more secure and improve the virtualization implementation overall with fewer duplicated efforts and more streamlined approaches."
In the absence of virtualization expertise, Linux proficiency can help, Hasbro's Ward says. VMware support staff seem to operate most comfortably with that open source operating system, he says.
In general, moving from pilot to production means increasing the staff for the daily care and feeding of a virtual environment, Ward says. "Tools can help, but they can't replace people."