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To Keep Your Head Above Water – Look to the Cloud

With the dynamics of business today and the ever-pressing need to remain focused on the business goal at hand, fast paced organizations need to streamline repetitive activities and continuously work to build efficiencies into all business practices. One area of business that can benefit substantially from streamlining is IT. Businesses need not drown in IT administrative tasks and the ongoing management of standard IT systems and applications. The goal should be to have your IT primes focused on the delivery of high value solutions.

One of the most effective ways to significantly reduce IT inefficiencies is to move as much infrastructure and its associated management, to the cloud. Leveraging cloud services not only reduces capital and operating costs, it is the best way to remove the burden of managing and operating IT systems away from your IT staff..

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is often cited as one of the prime services that SMB’s look to for driving efficiencies in their IT operations. To help you understand why, here are five reasons why businesses of all sizes, but SMB’s in particular, should look at IaaS services to streamline IT practices:

  1. Direct elimination of capital expenditures: Removing the need to buy hardware helps your bottom line and no one can dispute that. Server purchases tend to be a touchy subject with CFO’s. The day when you’re not running back to your CFO for another server purchase approval is a good day.
  2. Pay-as-you-grow: Adjusting the level of service as your grow, and only when you require it makes sense. This flexibility in service adjustment is referred to as elastic provisioning. For small businesses, where cash is king, this makes even more sense. When your business is just starting to take off, the last place you want your capital tied up is in idle high cost hardware.
  3. On-demand service delivery: Working through a cloud provider, you skip right past all the set up and provisioning time required for the deployment of complex systems. Order it when you want it and you are up and running in minutes. Nothing better then waiting until you really need something before you start paying for it and better yet, paying only for what you use and when you use it – much like your electrical bill…your computing costs become a true “utility billing model”
  4. Budget reallocation: With the money you are saving, given that you have eliminated many of the capital expenditures, you are now able to reallocate the hardware budget to other areas of the business that deliver increased value to customers, staff and ultimately your top and bottom line results..
  5. 24/7 security and uptime: Any issues with the hardware and underlying network infrastructure, any time day or night, are now taken care of by your trusted cloud provider. As a side bar to this, make sure to get a clear indication of your cloud providers security measures and redundant systems through a documented Service Level Agreement (SLA). Reputable providers take security and availability seriously. You deserve that piece of mind from your cloud provider.

The Demarcation of IT between You and Your Cloud Provider

I have included the diagram below to give you a visual illustration of where the demarcation point typically falls between self-managed and cloud-managed responsibilities. This often helps clients understand where their costs are going today and where a trusted cloud partner can step in and offload a majority of the IT encumbrance. The ultimate IT goal for your organization is to be above the water line!

Clipping

The dividing line between cloud services and on-prem services (source: www.hostedbizz.com)

Implementing an operating model that takes advantage of cloud infrastructure in general, and IaaS services in particular, typically results in a customer benefiting from the five points outlined above. In terms of your hard earned dollar, you can expect to see a cost reduction that often stretches beyond 50% of your current IT expenditures.

To make sure you get the most out of your IT staff and manage your cash effectively, I recommend that you talk with a hosted cloud service provider today to better understand your options. There is a reason why so many businesses today are turning to the cloud. If you ask them why I’m pretty certain you’ll learn it’s for the reasons I outlined above.

For those of you who have already moved to an IaaS program, what other savings have you seen?

 Jim Stechyson

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