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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.
According to Yankee Group research, the top five motivators for using IaaS are: cost savings on hardware and infrastructure; capacity management; disaster recovery/business continuity; cost savings on IT staffing and administration; and the ability to access new skills and capabilities.
Cost savings: 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.
Scalability and flexibility: One of the greatest benefits of IaaS is the ability to scale up and down quickly in response to an enterprise’s requirements. IaaS providers generally have the latest, most powerful storage, servers and networking technology to accommodate the needs of their customers. This on-demand scalability provides added flexibility and greater agility to respond to changing opportunities and requirements. This is especially helpful in building and dismantling test and development environments, which greatly benefit from this increased speed and agility.
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.
Focus on business growth: Time, money and energy spent making technology decisions and hiring staff to manage and maintain the technology infrastructure is time not spent on growing the business. By moving infrastructure to a service-based model, organizations can focus their time and resources where they belong, on developing innovations in applications and solutions.
Read more in our free IaaS: Performance Upgrade white paper.