Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service
The last thing a CIO wants to worry about when working to improve an organization is whether the infrastructure can keep pace with the need to innovate and respond to competitive pressures. IaaS is a good solution to the problem in many ways. It can reduce infrastructure costs, provide virtually limitless scalability and agility, and accelerate time to market. And it does this in a model that virtually ensures uptime (most service providers guarantee at least “five nines” of uptime in their SLAs) and the highest levels of security and compliance.
Many small businesses are warming to the idea of IaaS as opposed to an in-house IT solution, and for good reason. Here are a few benefits small businesses enjoy by adopting IaaS.
An obvious benefit of moving to the IaaS model is lower infrastructure costs. No longer do organizations have the responsibility of ensuring uptime, maintaining hardware and networking equipment, or replacing old equipment. IaaS also saves enterprises from having to buy more capacity to deal with sudden business spikes. Organizations with a smaller IT infrastructure generally require a smaller IT staff as well.
The pay-as-you-go model also provides significant cost savings. Because IaaS use is metered, organizations pay for only the capacity needed at any given time. This method also allows them to avoid large fixed monthly or annual fees for benefits they may not use. The IaaS model demands no upfront charges, bandwidth utilization fees or minimum term commitments.
Ease of scaling
IaaS providers will be able to adapt to the growth of the small business by quickly providing more resources. This is because service providers will have already anticipated increased demand, from a variety of their customers, and will have the systems in place to support that demand. They can then allocate those surplus resources to customers who request it – again, almost immediately.
Converting CapEx to OpEx
IaaS changes the cost model for an IT solution from a capital expense model to an operational expense model. This improves cash flow and aligns cost with value.
Faster time to market
Competition is strong in every sector, and time to market is one of the best ways to beat the competition. Because IaaS provides elasticity and scalability, organizations can ramp up and get the job done (and the product or service to market) more rapidly.
Support for DR, BC and high availability
While every enterprise has some type of disaster recovery plan, the technology behind those plans is often expensive and unwieldy. Organizations with several disparate locations often have different disaster recovery and business continuity plans and technologies, making management virtually impossible. IaaS provides a consolidated disaster recovery infrastructure, reducing costs and increasing manageability. Frost & Sullivan research has determined that CIOs consider business continuity and preparing for disaster recovery the top drivers for adopting IaaS.
If disaster strikes, employees can access the same infrastructure they have always accessed via an Internet connection, from wherever they happen to be. This includes everything the organization needs to function as usual — email, web servers and critical applications. The result: quick recovery with no loss of data.