Here Are Four Ways To Elevate IT
Prior to joining the consulting side of the industry, I worked in corporate IT for the first 7-8 years of my career. While my time in corporate IT has long come to a close, I can still vividly recall the pain points and dreaded battles I endured.
A recent study confirmed that up to 80 percent of IT budget is allocated to keeping the “lights on.” Such tedious maintenance tasks range from mundane file restoration to the stressful rehabilitation of mission critical server failures.
Here’s the good news: this spending has decreased in recent years as the adoption of cloud technology has increased. Earlier estimates had the cost of IT maintenance at 85% percent from the current 80%, and I anticipate this number will continue to drop. As more companies invest in the cloud and cloud services, budgets for keeping the lights on will shrink, thanks to the cost savings and efficiencies offered by cloud services. To ensure you’re making the most of available budget without spending too much time, or money, I’ve outlined four ways an IaaS provider can help to make tasks that can be very time-consuming with little return, much more efficient:
- Hardware & Maintenance—one major cost of IT is server hardware and maintenance. One of the few components left with moving parts, server hardware is prone to wear and tear. As such, there is always the need to allocate large amounts of time dedicated to maintaining these servers to keep everything up and running smoothly. By leveraging an IaaS provider, IT departments instantly offload a huge burden, letting the IaaS provider maintain server hardware, replace bad memory modules or failed drives. Providing a more efficient and low-cost alternative to internal maintenance, IaaS providers can help companies save money and focus their IT efforts elsewhere. Alleviating the bothersome late-night calls/texts when a server fails, employing an IaaS provider is the first step towards IT Utopia.
- Storage Area Network—another notable IT budget allocation is the storage area network (SAN). A SAN is typically very reliable, but when an issue arises, it usually affects major business critical systems causing mass hysteria in the IT camp. IaaS providers offer storage space for companies to take advantage of. By doing this, you move a very large expense off the maintenance budget while also removing the responsibility of the storage system upkeep and management. You’re now two steps closer to IT Utopia.
- System Backup —ensuring that all backup are complete is a tedious, time–consuming task. Between spending the morning sifting through backup logs and rescheduling unsuccessful backups a major chunk of any IT professional’s day. With today’s cloud service options, IaaS providers are able to back up the system they are hosting, which in turn, enables companies to recapture wasted time and move one step closer towards an IT Utopia.
- Software Distribution and Maintenance—these are crucial, but also time intensive IT tasks. From deploying a new application to rolling out a new major release of an existing application, distribution is usually a tedious and time consuming task for IT. Software as a Service (SaaS) can help companies minimalize time spent in this area by. SaaS is gaining popularity for many reasons and is a win-win for both IT and the software vendor. SaaS rollout is simple, requiring IT professionals to merely point their users to a URL.
With that said, there is application and user setup that needs to happen as well as potential data migration that needs to occur, but once that is done, the application is now available from any device with a browser with no additional configuration from IT. Users can access the application from any laptop, desktop or smart device without IT intervention. When a new update comes out, the user will automatically see it the next time they login with no IT intervention. Many popular SaaS applications are gaining momentum, such as Microsoft office 365, SAP as well as the market maker, SalesForce.com. IBM has made a commitment to deliver all its software via a SaaS format over the next few years demonstrating that this will be the method of choice for software delivery in the future. The fourth step towards IT Utopia is now complete.
This discussion demonstrated only four items where Cloud services can be leveraged to minimize the time spent by IT on monotonous, tedious and time-consuming tasks that provide little value to the business. Cloud services can help companies innovate in leaps and bounds, reducing IT costs and streamlining operations. Furthermore, cloud offerings allow IT departments to focus on adding value to the business rather than “keeping the lights on,” thereby attaining a state of IT Utopia.
By Marc Malizia