Times are a-changing. The cloud allows small and medium businesses to expand their infrastructure as needed just as if they were large enterprises. SaaS or “Software as a Service” solutions are the future. Some good examples of Software as a Service are Office 365
, and ServiceNow
. Most major software organizations are now looking at providing their software as a web solution or as a “client” that you install that connects to their backend servers. SaaS solutions just make sense for you as a business owner or operator. The software firm created the software – let them manage the servers, backup, maintenance, upgrades, patches, security, etc. Your business pays one flat fee to use the software and year-after-year you get new features, no technical debt, no expensive I.T. projects or I.T. staff salaries to support the ever-growing infrastructure.
You Mad Bro?
Businesses have needs, and they typically need quick I.T. execution; because they are trying to close a big deal or “capitalize” while the iron is hot. Vanson Bourne
did independent research across five key markets and 75 CIOs, 75 CFO’s, and 50 business decision makers to gather more information on Shadow or Rogue I.T. Shadow or Rogue I.T. is a term used to identify I.T. systems or solutions used by organizations without explicit approval by I.T. or even knowledge they exist. What’s worse is that typically these are important pieces of core infrastructure where control and security are key to success. However, business has demands, and when I.T. can’t meet those demands, the Business goes knocking on the doors of vendors that have specific knowledge and products to get the job done. More often these business units are finding a friend in SaaS solutions. This is obviously bad for the company and is a symptom of a constrained relationship between I.T. and the Business.
Time for healing! It is time for I.T. to return to relevance and build trust with the Business through delivering solid solutions – fast.
Office 365 is a great example of a quickly implemented SaaS solution. Historically I.T. would have to manage servers for Exchange or E-mail. Then there are servers for SharePoint or document management. Then you also have servers for unified communications and online meetings. Office 365 now brings all of these together in a hosted solution – the servers and the software. Microsoft manages the servers, update cycles for new releases or features, and maintenance in the cloud. You can easily scale users up or down, deploy team sites for new projects, meet business needs quickly and pay just for what you use. I.T. maintains control, security, and administration while the Business gets what it needs.
Office 365 is just one example, but the same process can be repeated with your infrastructure, networking, and security. These all have SaaS options on the market. Cloud providers have lined up an extensive buffet of offerings for I.T. to consume and quickly provide solutions for business teams.
Typically most server software is not meant for in-place upgrades. Historically we would upgrade a server from one operating system to another. That is now old school. Now, with the cloud, I can create a new server, migrate roles and services, and then delete the old. No upgrade – just a migration.
Today, this turn-on-a-dime flexibility and quick execution is what the Business is looking to I.T. to deliver. Check out what new SaaS and PaaS options are out there to support your business. I strongly suggest starting with Microsoft Azure