Do you still have doubts about whether your IT infrastructure is in good hands in the cloud? In this article, we have summarised four points that IT service providers need to consider before they decide to take the step into the cloud.
According to a study by the renowned market research company Gartner, two-thirds of all companies worldwide will rely on cloud data hosting in 2022. Cloud computing is therefore expected to continue to grow in the coming years and, according to a senior Gartner researcher, the cloud has "delivered on all promises" even during the COVID crisis.
More and more IT service providers have also recognised the opportunities of the cloud. Are you about to renew your IT infrastructure and are still unsure whether you should move your IT environment to the cloud? "Of course, as a cloud service provider, we are convinced that a cloud migration makes sense for many companies. Nevertheless, there are also cases where we say that it really wouldn't make sense to migrate the infrastructure to a cloud environment," says Xelon CEO Michael Dudli.
Take the test with our e-book "Das kleine Cloudeinmaleins für IT-Dienstleister" and find out whether it is worthwhile for you to bring your infrastructure into the cloud. You can download the e-book here.
According to Michael, IT service providers should answer four questions to get a clearer idea of whether a cloud solution is the right move or not.
- Load peaks: Are there load peaks? "For very many classic end customers, this is not a particularly relevant issue, because they don't need twice as many resources on Monday afternoon as on Tuesday morning, because demand and growth are very stable. Covering peak loads is a key issue, especially for larger companies or software companies," Michael explains.
One of the biggest advantages of a cloud-based infrastructure is its high scalability. If a small business grows into a medium-sized company, there is no need to purchase new servers and software at every milestone. With cloud servers, more computing power can be unlocked within minutes. During the pandemic, it became clear that the cloud plays an important role not only in upscaling, but also in downscaling. This means that the IT infrastructure can be easily adapted when demand or traffic decreases.
- Team: The local operation of IT infrastructure requires performance in the form of hours worked. Is the recruitment of IT professionals a challenge for you? Only if no, the IT infrastructure should be managed by yourself in the medium term.
When we at Xelon talk to IT service providers, the topic of recruiting also comes up again and again. "Most of our clients have vacancies that they haven't been able to fill for what feels like an eternity. I think it's pretty much the same for everyone. There are not many IT service providers and system integrators in Switzerland who are not currently looking for anyone," says Xelon CEO Michael. Working with the right cloud provider takes a lot of pressure off IT teams. This enables a stronger focus on business-relevant work - which is not only an advantage when recruiting new IT professionals, but is also important to retain IT talent.
- Know-how: Point 3 is related to recruitment and concerns the question: Do we even have the know-how to operate a cloud infrastructure or hardware infrastructure in our own data centre? Normally, one operates two data centres, as the infrastructure must be highly available and fail-safe. "If the corresponding know-how is available and can also be covered accordingly 24/7 and with holiday absences, you can operate the infrastructure yourself. If not, then it is likely to be very difficult to maintain operations over a long period of time," says Michael. "We have a lot of clients who first tried running their IT infrastructure on-site (on-premise). That might have gone well for a year or two. But then they realised it was way too much effort and decided to migrate to the cloud," the Xelon CEO tells us.
With the purchase of cloud services, there is no need to build up their own hardware and the time-consuming and cost-intensive recruitment of infrastructure experts is no longer necessary, which means that IT service providers can invest more time and energy in the search for talent in other areas.
- Capital: When it comes to investing in IT infrastructure, the question is: Do I have the capital to invest in hardware - yes or no? This is an important point when deciding whether to operate an on-premise infrastructure or obtain services from a proven cloud infrastructure. For SMEs and IT service providers, this is usually not a decisive criterion. Rather, we are talking about start-ups that do not have the money to procure hardware and want to procure infrastructure services with the pay-as-you-go or pay-as-you-use payment model. "These start-ups that want to start small, the infrastructure then costs maybe 50, 100 or 200 francs a month. When the business is up and running, the costs also rise as the business scales up. In this case, however, more money comes in, which in turn can be used for the infrastructure," reports Xelon CEO Michael Dudli.
Cloud storage space is often billed monthly and is therefore the best option for businesses that cannot or do not want to make huge upfront payments.
What requirements should a cloud service provider meet?
Resellers often lack the financial or human resources to set up their own cloud infrastructure or professional cloud services. The solution can be to work with an external IT infrastructure provider. This provides end customers with a functional IT environment for their daily work. IT service providers who know that their infrastructure is in good hands can concentrate more on their core business: customer care and the acquisition of new customers.
How do IT service providers who want to migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud find the right cloud services provider? Well-known names such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services often offer attractive pricing models. However, these predefined packages of hyperscalers rarely meet all the requirements of growing SMEs and are therefore not the right cloud partner for Swiss IT service providers and system integrators, whose target group usually consists mostly of small or medium-sized companies. The external cloud partner should know the Swiss SME landscape so that suitable cloud concepts can be developed for the end customers in cooperation with the IT service provider. Only in this way are IT service providers able to offer customised IT environments for companies of all sizes.
Download our e-book "The little cloud 101 for IT service providers" now. and receive a checklist for choosing the right IT infrastructure provider in addition to content about the opportunities of cloud services for IT service providers.