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What does Cloud Computing actually mean for Remote Infrastructure Management Service providers, and how can they harness its potential to deliver superior value to businesses?

The shift to Remote Infrastructure Management Services (RIMS) has made eminent business sense in the light of increasing levels of service demanded by both internal and external customers. Service providers are seeking ways to make their RIMS contribution more relevant; this is where the adoption of technologies such as Cloud Computing finds mention. But with the hype that surrounds the Cloud and its perceived risks and rewards, what does it actually mean for RIMS providers and their customers?

The case for RIMS has been founded on the simple fact that as a business you should be focusing on what you do best. By outsourcing the function of monitoring and managing the IT infrastructure components, you are left with more time and resources to focus on your core functions. It is possible to bring down IT infrastructure management costs up to 60% by outsourcing intelligently.

Let us take a look at Cloud Computing before we examine its effect on RIMS. In theory, taking an application onto the Cloud should provide the following key benefits:
  • Eliminate (or significantly reduce) need for the customer to invest in IT infrastructure
  • High scalability to adjust rise or fall in user demands for resources,
Businesses waking up to seeming benefits of Cloud are seeking to begin by moving their applications like email, ERP and CRM suites and even parts of computing infrastructure like storage networks on to the cloud rather than keeping them on the traditional infrastructure incurring more expenditure on maintenance and management. This continuing trend could see SMBs leveraging the Cloud for IT infrastructure management thus having a resultant impact on traditional RIMS providers.

Let us begin by looking at reasons businesses do not trust the cloud entirely, and how RIMS can address these reasons and harness Cloud’s power:

How secure will my data be on the Cloud? It is not easy for a CIO to rest easy when sensitive business data is sitting on servers that the company has no control over. Though there are ways to address this concern, RIMS providers will do well to offer storage across Cloud networks where data security is assured.

What if the on-demand payment model ends up costing more? This question can only crop up if the payment model is not clearly defined. There is no way a nebulous payment model will make sense to a value seeking business, and clear definitions of the pay-as-you-go model need to be worked out, in terms of scenario analysis and modeling to let CIOs rest assured that their decision will save costs.

How can I bring operations back in-house in case I’m not satisfied? The fact of the matter is that moving lock stock and barrel to the Cloud may not make immediate business sense considering the emerging nature of the technology. RIMS providers need to build in the flexibility in the system to handle this scenario.

To conclude, the ability to deliver monitoring and management services for a client’s IT environment through an off-site shared service delivery model while harnessing the cost-effective model based on the Cloud can see businesses freeing up IT investments. The way ahead for RIMS providers would be to package Cloud based solutions and services to enable SMBs to make the shift. It would not be long before the allaying of fears surrounding the Cloud results in it becoming a part of most IT investment forecasts.

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