It’s been said that there are only two things we as individuals can be certain of in life; death and taxes. From a business perspective, it’s clear we can also be certain about the ever changing face of technology. The life cycle of technology seems to be getting shorter. User demands continue to rise, new devices are being released at exponential rates, and software vendors spend more time talking about the next version than they do about the product that’s currently available; in an effort to start the process all over again.
We are living in a world full of unique businesses, all fighting to establish their niche in the marketplace. Whether you’re a small start-up with a handful of employees, or an established organization of several hundred, technology decisions are often made on a best-effort basis. Many businesses have developed their own “culture” – if you will, of how they consume technology. This creates a growing challenge for IT decision makers who are faced with a myriad of questions regarding their available options. With the technology landscape in constant motion, IT Managers are left with the time consuming and often daunting task of researching and downloading evaluations, to determine which products or technologies will accomplish their goals.
Cloud computing seems to be taking a front seat in the hearts and minds of the masses. The idea of leveraging someone else’s massive infrastructure investment, for a fraction of the cost, is too good to pass up. Almost every day at least one person asks me about my thoughts on this topic, hoping to glean some new information on whether or not it would be right for them. Some IT Managers have come right out and told me they’ve made a decision and are starting the process of moving into the cloud. After asking them a few basic questions, they quickly realize they’ve bought into a solution without understanding how it will impact other technologies within their organization.
Leveraging an outsourced pool of resources is not only a service that is provided by the cloud, it’s also available through technology partners. As with any small or medium business, many rely on a single person with strong IT Kung Fu to make all of their technology decisions. Combining forces with the right partners can provide low-cost access to a large network of highly skilled professionals. Thus enabling, proper solution development and minimal surprises (a.k.a. downtime or sinking money into the wrong technologies) all based on industry best practices, learned through experience with past implementations. In a recent meeting at Microsoft Canada Mike Ryan, SMB Server and Cloud Specialist cited a particularly telling statistic; over 80% of small and medium businesses who attempt a migration into the cloud fail unless they are working with a partner who has navigated the process in the past. If you see the value that cloud computing brings to the table, the benefits of establishing a relationship with a trusted partner for technology should go hand in hand.