The benefits of IT-as-a-service are compelling. In particular, businesses can benefit from regularly refreshed technology without taking on the complexity, capital expense and lengthy rollout time of a typical on-premises upgrade.
These benefits are driving not only cloud services but also the emergence of a new breed of more sophisticated pay-as-you-use solutions.
However, in order to capitalise on these services we need to understand the challenges we may face when adopting them. Here are three to be aware of.
Ensure your business has the required network capability. Adopting cloud or hosted services is critically dependent on the reliability, performance and - in some cases - the security of the organisation's internet connection or private network. And that applies to your organisation's head office and branches, and its mobile user base.
Don't trade one layer of complexity for another. One benefit of moving to IT-as-a-service is that you no longer have to support the in-house IT sprawl that has evolved over time. However, if your organisation adopts multiple cloud services for different applications and infrastructure, you can actually end up with a more complex environment - with business data, for example, spread across all those services.
Beware the pitfalls of multiple accounts. If each cloud provider has a different user interface and method of authentication, the environment can become overly complex to end users. For the organisation, multiple cloud accounts can result in security headaches. For example, how do you revoke several accounts when an employee or contractor leaves?
These problems are certainly not inevitable, but avoiding them requires choosing the right technology partners, and having a well-planned IT strategy and access to the necessary expertise. This is where the CIO and IT managers can become invaluable to their business.
By Brett Emmerton, Director of Cloud and Datacentre at Optus Business.
Find out more on how your business can continue to evolve in the new era of advanced off-premise services: Move ahead with 'As a Service' Opinion Paper