It’s been 4 years since you implemented your organization’s core system for running operations. Back then, you sized out the environment, did an educated thumb suck for what your needs would be 4 years into the future and bought not only the needed hardware for that moment but also some extra to cater for the envisioned data growth. You were reasonably sure at the time that you would be fine for the next five years.
It’s year 4. The CRM/ERP/Core System running has had 4 major iterations since your version was implemented. The support for your current version is running out. Your hardware is classified as being end of life/support meaning it is too outdated to execute competently. The new version has entirely new requirements of the hardware platform such that you cannot repurpose the hardware (that you sweated to get board approval for!) for the new version.
You are experiencing compatibility issues with new applications and virus/ransomware patches. Replacement parts for your servers are no longer available. It doesn’t help that your servers are not exactly the most energy efficient of the lot. It’s akin to lighting your building with incandescent bulbs in the era of LEDs. Your power bills could be lower with more energy efficient servers. As your infrastructure ages, performance issues start to creep up with higher demands being made of the processor and memory resources.
For many companies, IT is the lifeblood of the company. With great gnashing of teeth and beating of brows, IT and Finance will come to an agreement and a budget for server refresh will be sent to the board for approval. The business will shrug, put it down to the cost of doing business and signoff on the hardware refresh and software upgrades. An uneasy peace reigns across the land. Until the next time in 4-5 years.
This has been the reality for many CIOs/IT Managers. Isn’t there another way?
Actually, there is. At least 3 other options.
- Public Cloud
Here, computing resources have been pooled and access given to any user who want/need them.
- Private (Dedicated) Cloud
This pool of computing resources is operated by one person/organization
- Hybrid Cloud
In this model, an organization’s workloads reside both in the organization’s private cloud and a public provider cloud.
Managed cloud is an offering now available that can take away quite a bit of the pain associated with tech refreshes, spreading upfront cost of new hardware over a number of years. This allows for the enterprise to immediately experience access to the latest technology without having to invest in the hardware and associated licences upfront. Other benefits include:
- Cost savings on power and cooling costs as the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) is able to spread this cost over several customers, decreasing the cost for the enterprise.
- Savings from over provisioning avoidance – Cloud providers provide on demand performance that can be scaled up or down depending on need. This eliminates the need to over provision due to performance considerations.
- Avoidance of under provisioning risks – The expense of a tech refresh will have some business accept the risk of under-provisioning hardware so as to save money. The on-demand scalability of cloud platforms eliminates this risk.
- Avoidance of Capital expenses, Upgrade, Maintenance and Compatibility challenges – The Cloud provider manages all hardware lifecycle tasks, eliminating the aforementioned concerns.
While the above represent the tangible and quantifiable benefits of a cloud move vs a tech refresh the true benefit if often intangible. Moving to cloud eliminates the heavy IT lifting that is often an impediment to the success of many businesses.
Imagine never to have to manage a massive data migration and clean up. Imagine a setup where data protection is an intrinsic part of the system architecture. Imagine never experiencing the budgetary challenges of a hardware refresh (No more board papers!)