Blogs & Articles

Friday, Dec 24, 2010

Ten gifts from the Cloud this Holiday Season - with a money-back (ROI) guarantee.


Well, it’s that time of year again, with people world-wide celebrating their holiday season of choice, and many contemplating what gifts to bestow upon their loved ones.  As usual, the latest tech toys like the Xbox Kinect are sold out everywhere, but there are a lot of great techie gifts still out there, many available at my favourite online store – you may have heard of it – The CLOUD.


The Cloud has something for everybody and, I thought it might be fun to make a list of thoughtful gifts:


1. Economy of Scale:Boys and girls everywhere know that it’s important to share, and that rule works in the Cloud too.  Businesses of all sizes now have the opportunity to dramatically reduce costs by leveraging the shared infrastructure that defines the Cloud.  Of course, just because you’re sharing doesn’t mean that you don’t have your own unique, secure, private instance in the Cloud – you do, rendering the Cloud as reliable and secure as any privately-constructed infrastructure.


2. Scalability:The Cloud doesn’t just offer the ability to easily expand as your business also gives you the ability to easily scale back your requirements when economic conditions or seasonal trends mean that your business requires fewer resources. That’s like planning a dinner for 20 people, only to learn that half of them can’t make it due a snowstorm – and you taking the turkey back to the store and exchanging it for one half the size, with your grocer cheerily accommodating your new requirements.  That’s real scalability.


3. Cost Savings:  Like most men, I’m not crazy about shopping, and when I have to, I like to get in, buy what I need, and get out.  One place I do like to shop, however, is in the Cloud.  Really, where else can you buy things like indexed, archived storage – and know that your purchase just saved you (i.e. your company) money?  No more costly infrastructure build-outs, no surprise “one-time” professional services fees when problems occur – just verifiable cost savings.


4. Cost Certainty:  I know of one company who wished they’d shopped at the Cloud store a few months back.  This financial services firm had considered replicating its server infrastructure in the Cloud (i.e. Cloud Recovery), and decided to park the project for a few months because of other pressing IT requirements. Soon after, they had a major Exchange server outage and painstakingly doled out close to $100,000 to an external consultant to fix the problem – and this didn’t include what the system downtime cost their business financially and in terms of reputation. They could have protected their Exchange environment in the Cloud for roughly 15 years (not a typo) for the “unplanned” $100,000 expenditure they were forced to endure.  Of course, they’re now gearing up to deploy recovery as a service and the fixed, monthly cost certainty it provides.


5. Time for Strategic IT work: Do you remember when you were in school and the IT professionals who were passing on their knowledge talked about the “strategic value of information technology?”  You likely had dreams of someday applying your knowledge in a way that transformed the business world, enabling your co-workers, and turning technology into competitive advantage.  Then you got the job and ended up spending 90% of your time doing mundane tasks like daily tape backup.  Well, the Cloud store can change that.  Embrace its value and you’ll soon find that the mundane stuff is well handled by the Cloud and its providers, leaving time for you to do what you were trained to do – deliver strategic advantage to your company through IT.


6. Comfortable Computing: I love this term, and the first time I heard it was in a SearchCloudComputing.Com podcast interview with FSW’s Joseph Foran.  Mr. Foran’s view is that the Cloud allows for “comfortable computing – which he defines as “end-user ease of use.”  As an IT guru, Foran gets it:  people today want to work conveniently, and not have to bother with “IT-Approved devices” to access the tools and information they need to perform their jobs.  iPhones, working from the local cafe from your iPod, or using your home PC to access your secure environment in the Cloud are all possible today, and available to all at the Cloud Store.


7. Eliminate Vendor Lock-in:  Who among us hasn’t experienced the restrictions associated with vendor lock-in – that state where companies are so married to a technology provider that they can’t move to a competing vendor without enduring significant cost and strain on the business?  So, they stay, despite in many cases not enjoying a strong customer-supplier working arrangement.  The Cloud changes that, and by using some of the tools available in this emerging space, companies can easily and quickly migrate from one vendor to another, ensuring that they are always getting the best value for their dollar. 


8. Competitive Advantage:  Be the first on your block to leverage the value inherent in the Cloud, and embrace the competitive advantage that will accrue as you cut costs, gain corporate flexibility, increase productivity and deliver continuous availability – all while your competitors are spending time on “build-it and self-manage” IT approaches that have them focused on anything but their core business. 


9. Business Transformation:  And now something for the VAR community, compliments of the Cloud– recurring revenue - or at least the opportunity to transition one’s business from a hardware and software sales/professional services operation, to one focused on delivering managed services.  Make a list of companies out there that are enabling MSPs and check it twice.  Then, put in your order for the tools you need to transition your company to a Managed Service Provider.


10. Peace of Mind (a.k.a. Business Continuity): Yes, it’s true.  The Cloud now offers any company the opportunity to rapidly deploy continuous application availability without enduring the painful, costly, time-consuming process of building an in-house solution – or establishing a dedicated, remote infrastructure through traditional means.  The Cloud even throws in a guaranteed RTO measured in minutes, not days, to further ease your mind.  So, put BC in the Cloud on your list of things to buy.  You won’t regret it.


To my many friends and followers, thanks for taking the time to read my blog this past year.  I appreciate your support and have enjoyed your feedback, and on behalf of the Geminare team, I sincerely hope that you have a great holiday season, one that leaves you fully energized to tackle the challenges that you and your company will face in the year ahead.   


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