Industry experts at Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, have identified a shift in the way enterprise organizations are embracing technology. While enterprise data center effectiveness was once defined by the technology it employed, today the way an organization accesses and consumes those technologies provides the most significant impact on business and revenue models. As organizations change the way they access and consume technology, they have become more flexible and responsive to their industries and customers. As a result, the business value of technology has become the driver for business change much more so than any individual technology itself.
“It’s not the technology alone that transforms a business,” says Vince DeLuca, CEO, Logicalis US. “It’s the way the business accesses and uses that technology that is transformative.”
This becomes crystal clear when IT pros examine the IT transformation journey and its impact on their organizations. Every enterprise IT department can identify itself in one of the six phases of the IT transformation journey, and they are all leading to the place where organizations consume technology in a way that provides the most business value for the company. Some refer to this as “the subscription economy,” which makes the concept more palatable since most people are accustomed to the idea of subscription-based services on a consumer level. The news is that it’s now beginning to be talked about in earnest among enterprise CIOs – and CEOs/CFOs all agree, it’s the way businesses must look at technology going forward.
One example: What corporate America calls “the cloud” today is fundamentally business-model based, while using enhanced technology at its core. For businesses to most effectively harness the power of the cloud, they must change their thinking from the purchase economy to the subscription economy to be able to truly focus IT resources on how to build, expand and strengthen the business, rather than how to obtain, manage and pay for technology.
This naturally leads savvy CIOs and IT pros to examine the “as-a-service” model. Outsourcing certain aspects of the IT department’s function by purchasing those functions “as a service” can offload repetitive tasks, reduce capital expenditures and increase the time they have to focus on more strategic work. The key is determining which “as-a-service” functions will be of most benefit to the organization. To help, Logicalis has put together a list of seven ways “as a service” can benefit CIOs.
Click through for a description and benefits of a variety of “as-a-service” products available to businesses, as identified by Logicalis.
Software as a Service (SaaS): Software providers excel in designing solutions for vertical markets, but the delivery of that software in an as-a-service model can be challenging. By partnering with a cloud provider who can tailor a software-as-a-service solution to the provider’s product and market, software providers are better able to provide consistent, always-up service to their clients without the cost and hassle of creating and maintaining the in-house infrastructure required to do the job. Likewise, for enterprise organizations that want to access software on a subscription basis, finding a software provider that is going to market in this manner means faster implementations and a subscription fee that can spin up or down with required usage.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Need access to additional compute resources from time to time, but not often enough to justify building them in house? Consider an on-demand infrastructure-as-a-service offering that is a self-managed, multi-tenant public cloud infrastructure providing the flexible compute resources, memory and storage necessary to complete projects such as test and development, proof of concept, training, bursting or other short-term needs.
Data Center as a Service (DCaaS): Data centers are typically purpose-built with a 15- to 20-year lifespan, while hardware refreshes must happen every three to four years. So it’s safe to say that if a data center is between five and 10 years old, there are going to be some major deficiencies. Outsourcing select data center functions to the cloud, co-locating a data center, or deploying an energy-efficient, high-density computing modular data center may be the answer.
Storage as a Service: Legacy storage simply wasn’t designed with today’s uses in mind. That means there are systemic gaps that may leave an organization exposed to new pressures placed upon it by unpredictable workloads and unrestrained data growth. Most organizations can take advantage of cloud storage, particularly if they have legal requirements to retain large volumes of data for years, including unstructured data like pictures, films and radiology studies, which can result in petabytes of storage and prohibitive costs for media and physical storage. Storage as a service offers affordable monthly terms and the ability to easily increase storage service levels as needed.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): DRaaS solutions are prepackaged services that provide a standard DR failover to a cloud environment. Customers can buy these services on a pay-per-use basis with varying rates based on required recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Service providers either deploy agents to replicate data and applications or use image-based backups to send data to the cloud.
IT Service Desk as a Service: Certain IT functions contribute to the competitive advantage of an organization, but running a service desk is not usually one of them. If outsourcing an IT service desk can cut costs and increase the level of service to end users without sacrificing quality or impacting competitive advantage, it’s clearly something that IT pros should examine for their organization.
ITSM – TheMortar in an As-A-Service World: Worried about maintaining control with so many “as-a-service” choices? IT Service Management (ITSM) is a discipline that aligns the delivery of information technology (IT) services with the business at hand. The purpose is to deliver end-to-end services that meet end-user needs. This task has been made more difficult by the introduction of services into the business from providers other than IT, such as cloud services and SaaS, and by the consumerization of service consumption. ITSM is the mortar that holds together the individual components of the new IT delivery model. It’s the solution that maintains order and keeps the reins of control firmly entrenched in the hands of the IT department.