Some IT managers are stoically resisting a move to cloud-based services and SaaS applications but 70% of public and private sector organisations have now adopted cloud services* in some form. If you’re not one of them, read on to find out why you’re left in the minority:
1. Burden of management removed
Managing a software platform, such as CRM, internally requires significant resource in terms of both hardware and support. A database server, application server, front end server and public-facing server may all be required to run, just this one, application. IT teams can spend up to 80% of their time managing hardware, leaving just 20% of their time to drive innovation and business delivery.
Moving applications such as CRM and intranets to a SaaS platform in the cloud removes some of this burden. Which of course, frees up IT teams for value-adding projects.
2. Reduction in costs
At first glance, managed services and SaaS can appear costly options. However, IT managers often compare this with the physical cost of owning the kit. And forgetting about the added running costs of power, cooling, security, insurance, and management. Once all of these elements are added to the financial gains of increased value-led productivity by your team, SaaS solutions can actually work out better value.
3. Lower risk
Because SaaS applications can be implemented in a shorter space of time, and with lower overheads than an in-house solution, value can be realised more quickly and the risk of deployment becomes less. This makes it easier for businesses to be more innovative and trial new solutions. And this may prove to offer a significant business benefit.
Similarly, SaaS solutions come with automatic upgrades, delivering the most recent software and capabilities available with no further investment.
4. Built-in redundancy
SaaS providers are responsible for maintaining the availability and performance of your solution and, as a business, it is in their interests to do so. SLAs will often guarantee 100% up time as providers use automatic failover to overcome any problems that arise. This level of resiliency is almost impossible to replicate in house without considerable investment.
5. Shadow IT
In some circumstances, organisations may actually make greater use of the cloud than IT teams even realise. The speed and ease of SaaS deployment means that, where IT managements have shown reluctance to adopt cloud solutions, other teams in the organisation have bypassed IT altogether, setting up their own cloud solutions. This phenomenon is known as Shadow IT.
In order to retain control of IT resources and security, IT teams need to be proactive, flexible and open to new SaaS options. This will ensure compliance and control across the company’s IT operations.
It’s true, a move to the cloud isn’t quite as simple as flicking a switch. Neither does it remove all element of risk. Organisations may need to undergo a number of fundamental changes such as a shift in economic thinking from a capex model towards an opex cycle. A move to the cloud may also require a shift in skill sets towards software-focused configuration.
Whilst these may seem like daunting changes, cloud offers valuable business benefits and is undoubtedly here to stay. IT teams that haven’t done so already, need to sit up and take notice or risk being left behind.
*Datacenter Dynamics, Juniper Networks