October 5, 2016

The Time is Now: Budget & Plan for 2017’s Cloud Service & IT Support

The number of Businesses and organizations adopting cloud services and technology has grown tremendously in 2016 and will continue to do so in coming years. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker expects that spending on IT infrastructure for cloud environments will grow at a 13.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $59.5 billion in 2020, or 48.7 percent of the total spending on enterprise IT infrastructure.

If you haven’t already started, the time is now for organizations to begin planning and budgeting for 2017 so they aren’t left behind another year. To start IT planning for the new year, you should focus on three main areas: technology, support and cost.

Technology
You should seek a cloud vendor that can develop a customized IT infrastructure that best fits your business needs and future growth goals. A cloud service provider should have experience working with other companies similar to yours and be able to recommend what types of applications, hardware and software pieces you’ll need to be successful.

For example, if your staff is still using stationary desktop setups, your cloud vendor should recommend the use of dual monitors. Spending the additional $300-$400 for an extra monitor can increase productivity by 20-30 percent. In the long run, the increased productivity will pay for itself by creating a greater use of staff members and allowing them to be less frustrated. The technology they’re recommending should be able to help you and not just drain money from your pockets.

Support
Support is a big reason why many businesses and organizations make the switch to the cloud. Having support provided by knowledgeable people, who know the latest security risk and technology trends, helps take the burden off of your internal team.

Be sure to ask and understand the type of support you’ll receive from your prospect provider. You’ll want to know if you have support via phone or by email not only during business hours, but afterhours, weekends and even holidays. Also, find out what type of engineers they have on staff. Working with a cloud service vendor that has tier-three engineers ensures that you’ll have the most qualified support to solve your IT problems quickly. By outsourcing your IT to a cloud service provider, your team can focus on business and leave the technical aspects to the vendor.

Cost
This one can be tricky. Companies tend to make the mistake of not budgeting or allocating enough money for IT. IT should be thought of as an investment. With that being said, by moving from a traditional IT set-up to a cloud service plan, you can move away from large hardware and equipment costs.

However, there are still different levels of pricing for cloud services. If you decide to go with the low cost option for your cloud service, you can run into issues of the technology not working properly or becoming outdated quickly. Ask vendors about their pricing structures. Most likely you’ll come across vendors that have a subscription-based pricing model that can fit within your budgetary requirements.

Get Started Before the New Year
Reviewing these three areas with possible vendors should put you on the right track for planning and budgeting. The cloud is here to stay— so start 2017 off on the right foot by adopting the cloud. Your employees, customers and business will thank you for it!

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