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Welcome to the Windsor Group knowledge base of articles
and publications that demonstrate our understanding of many
of the complex business challenges and key issues faced by companies
around the world
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Executives responsible for managing both government entities and large global private enterprises continue to look for ways virtualization can help cut IT operating costs, increase efficiencies and eliminate wasteful redundancy throughout their operations. They know they can accomplish much of that by partnering with cloud computing service providers. But change has to come in an orderly manner.

That requires prioritizing your IT infrastructure needs, so that “orderly” goes hand-in-hand with “effective.” Incremental adoption makes the most sense, both practically and financially.

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Cloud computing services can save your data center money. But transitioning to cloud computing can bring greater efficiencies to your business operations, too. And every efficiency you can generate also translates to money saved. With that broader picture in mind, let’s look at four ways the cloud can help your company realize greater savings.

1. Direct savings.

Any or all of these could apply to your data center:

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In a recent blog post, we quoted industry giant Cisco, to the effect that “server and data center workloads are moving to the cloud, and they’re not coming back.” The question isn’t if or when, it’s how cloud computing services will impact your enterprise. In many ways, that will be up to you.

The cloud isn’t a disparate cure-all, it’s one new tool (or perhaps a series of tools) to orchestrate and manage your IT environment. Initially cloud computing services caused a stir because they could help companies reduce rising IT costs through greater efficiencies. But the cloud offers broader options that have the potential to significantly improve some, if not all, of your operations capabilities.

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From global warming on down to the details of everyday living, sustainability seems to be on everyone’s mind. In many industries, going green has become as important for corporate reputations as for the environment. Cloud computing and data centers converge in ways that can help you create a greener IT environment.

Or do they?

The narrow view says yes.

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The problem with data center growth is that traditional architecture models are simply too costly in today’s business environment. That’s why companies are bringing cloud computing and data centers together, in a variety of ways, to optimize both performance and spending. New technologies require new solutions to remain competitive and agile.

Servers are the most expensive component in data center construction and operation, yet they only work at about 20% capacity on average, with their remaining power held in reserve to handle peak loads. Excess capacity requires excessive financial investment, something that’s no longer viable for any size enterprise.

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Why do you hire anyone? After all, it costs money. Considering whether you should hire IT sourcing consultants follows the same reasoning as hiring additional permanent employees – you bring them in because they embody broader or deeper expertise your enterprise needs but doesn’t have, and the benefits you derive from that will be greater than what it costs to have them on board.

In the case of IT sourcing consultants, they can bring you some additional benefits an in-house hire cannot, making their cost-benefit ratio even higher. That’s definitely worth considering. Let’s look at three advantages.

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Who needs a formal checklist? Your key IT staff have been with your company for years. They know your systems like the backs of their hands, right? Well, in the unlikely event that is actually 100% true, an IT infrastructure assessment checklist can still serve as a fail-safe.

And for all of you who are pretty sure your people do not have a complete, off-the-cuff command of every IT detail, here are some reasons you should seriously consider creating that IT infrastructure assessment checklist, no matter what.

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Change happens. Seemingly faster and faster, especially in the burgeoning realm of IT. Regular periodic review ensures you’re not falling behind, or inadvertently falling into an “obsolescence trap.” Reviewing your enterprise-wide IT status also points up opportunities to improve service, sometimes even develop new revenue streams. Your review will be a lot more productive if you use an IT infrastructure assessment checklist.

What you learn from your assessment helps top execs as well as your IT managers stay up-to-date, so thinking about and planning for change is easier and can be more strategic. And while you may need to conduct more detailed review and analysis regarding specific projects, at least you won’t be starting from scratch.

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