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Understanding the Cost and Benefits of IaaS

Nov 16, 2018 11:17:00 AM

by Ken Cameron

Costs are almost always top of mind when an enterprise considers new technology. This approach is sensible for most sourcing strategies. But when it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), it’s also important to consider the technology’s benefits in addition to its costs.

Like other cloud computing as a Service models, IaaS does more than simplify your IT cost structure and give you an opportunity to evaluate your current infrastructure. It gives you a more scalable, accessible infrastructure for future business needs.

Make a distinction between minimization and optimization

Everyone loves to talk about the savings IaaS can bring to an organization, but it’s extremely important to consider when it’s worth spending more on your infrastructure. Minimizing your IT costs, while potentially beneficial in the short-term, can create more expensive problems in the future. Stop thinking about cutting costs and start thinking about ways to optimize your costs.

This is especially true if your organization is considering or in the process of its first digital transformation. The cloud isn’t always about savings — it’s about improving your enterprise’s agility and innovative capabilities. In a study of senior IT professionals who adopted IaaS, more than 60% reported innovation advantages and decreased deployment times.

One of the key benefits of IaaS is that it removes the maintenance burden on your IT team, which means your staff spends more time innovating and less time on menial tasks. IaaS also offers the flexibility to increase and decrease infrastructure as needed, especially if you have variable usage. For retailers, this could mean adding more server space during the holiday shopping season. For technology companies, this could mean reducing usage after the completion of a major project.

Succeed with IaaS by focusing on cost and service

The real value of IaaS — and why it’s so transformative that even major enterprises that have run their own data centers for years are switching over — is simple storage space management, increased server response time, and a payment model based on what you actually use.

While costs vary by provider, the pricing scheme itself is fairly predictable. Unlike traditional infrastructure, where costs continue to increase throughout the life of your data center, IaaS typically offers fixed rates for storage space and computational resources. You don’t have to worry about refreshing equipment or installing new security updates because your provider does it for you. Why pay millions of dollars for an internal upgrade when you can just pay for the usage?

You can’t avoid the cloud forever

We’re going through one of the most disruptive changes in the history of business with the advent of cloud computing software and as a Service solutions. All businesses and enterprises — especially large companies with a history of managing their own infrastructure — are making the inevitable move to cloud services. If you’re not on the cloud train, you’re on the track — avoiding the benefits and agility of IaaS doesn’t differentiate you from competitors, it just puts you behind the curve.

Making the shift to an IaaS solution isn’t without its own challenges and risks, but the benefits are too great to ignore. Whether you’ve experienced a major outage or you see the need for transformation within your company, IaaS requires careful planning to be successful.

Before you even begin to look at providers, you need to establish a clear understanding of your current IT infrastructure costs. This means defining your current platforms, storage capabilities, and personnel skillset, as well as the costs of these services. While this is something you can perform internally, consultants can help define your baseline costs with a fresh perspective and outside expertise.

A consultant can not only help you understand your current infrastructure costs but also help you price and understand future IaaS costs and capabilities. Whether you’re looking to IaaS to save money, add services, or a little bit of both, the Windsor Group can help you define your current expenditure and capabilities before evaluating IaaS solutions that work for your business.

Once you’ve assessed your current IT infrastructure costs, take a look at our white paper, “Making the Pivot to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): 8 Things to Consider.” If you have any questions about the paper or establishing a baseline for your costs, reach out to me here on LinkedIn or get in touch with our team.

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