SME – Hold Fire or Shoot…………..for the Cloud – Follow Up

In my previous post I suggested that now is the time to move to the Cloud with the main reason being that Generatororganisations can be distracted by managing their IT infrastructure rather than focusing on their core business. To free themselves of this distraction organisations need to examine how they got to where they are and then make the plan to move forward.

When I think about Cloud I think about a discussion on LinkedIn that went on for about 9 months with over 600 comments all setting out how to describe cloud to your colleagues. The best comment other than the NIST definition, is a light switch. When you want to use the light you simply turn it on. There is no question that you would have purchased a generator and hired an electrician to take care of it. You simply use the electricity on demand and pay according to how much you used.

How did we arrive at a point where you bought a number of servers and hired an IT expert to look after them? It is simple, nobody had taken the core components and turned them into an easy to use commodity. I remember going to market to find an email service provider to out-source our email to back in 2007. The first challenge was finding one. There were plenty of companies offering email as a service but they did not want to deal with you unless you had a requirement for 10k email accounts. We had less than 500 staff. I ended up having to go to a company in Canada and that was less than optimum.

This was pretty much the picture when you looked at any IT service with one notable exception. Very few medium or large organisations managed their own payroll. Payroll could be easily outsourced and there were plenty of companies offering this service. This wasn’t an accident. it was the Finance department of large organisations who first introduced computers into the company. In one organisation they found they had spare capacity. The hived off a company to sell the excess capacity of their mainframe and what did they sell? You guessed it, payroll services!

There is a lot more to a business than just the payroll but increasingly it is becoming a lot easier to farm these services out to the Cloud. You can purchase many offerings from full accounting packages to desktop applications. Many software package suppliers are quickly realising that in order to survive they need to have a Cloud offering. But not ERP I hear you say! Well think again, even ERP systems are available.

“We have proprietary needs”, well then look at Infrastructure or Platform as a service. Dell has embraced the Cloud with many of the tools we use ourselves being delivered internally from Cloud providers but it is with our strategic partners such as VMware that the most innovative solutions are being delivered. If you currently have a VMware virtualised solution in place you can utilise the Dell Cloud with VMware vCloud Datacenter Services.

Use Dell’s Cloud solution to extend your virtual farm to our Cloud solution. Simply adding new virtual machines from within vCenter but designating them as Cloud will give you the ease of management without the headache of adding additional hardware.

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