As organizations of all sizes try to keep up with ever changing technology trends, more and more companies are looking to the cloud to help modernize their infrastructure, enable their internal teams, and lower costs. With an on-demand, pay-as-you-go consumption based model, the cloud can change IT departments from reactive cost centers with high capital expenditures to an agile business unit focused on aligning and delivering IT resources in an operational model. These change, from OpEx to CapEx, and from reactive delivery to proactive transformation, represent a tremendous opportunity for organizations that can adapt and adopt to a cloud first mindset but also brings about trepidation as organizations struggle with understanding where the cloud can benefit them, and how to approach procuring cloud services.
The first step in any cloud journey is understanding your organization's unique challenges, and where cloud services can help in alleviating or allaying those problems. Insight has deep experience helping customers through evaluating, assessing, and deploying cloud solutions and has discovered a few common themes when it comes to initial cloud workloads.
Cloud Based Storage – Organizations are experiencing a massive increase in the growth of data.
Whether this is for regulatory/compliance reasons, or because they intend to use the growing data set to gather additional business intelligence, IT departments are grappling with trying to maintain existing hot data while accounting for expansion in colder and archival data. On Premise solutions, which can’t make the distinction between data sets as easily, tend to be expensive and managing enterprise grade SANs can cause costs to sky rocket.
The cloud is an excellent target for these growing datasets, taking advantage of lower cost storage, while allowing for near limitless scaling. The cloud also allows you to differentiate granularly between different data sets, taking very inexpensive archival storage for the classic “write once, read never” data, while enabling faster, more available storage for file or application data.
Backup and Disaster Recovery – Data is the lifeblood of any organization, and protecting and securing data against breaches and natural or man-made disasters is a key function of many IT departments. While most organizations have some form of backup, many are still struggling to meet data backup best practices because of cost or management concerns.
The cloud can be the perfect target for your Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions. Low cost storage combined with enterprise grade security and availability makes the cloud a very attractive option for offsite backups, and fulfills best practice requirements to maintain at least two different mediums of storage. Additionally, cloud based tools can enable true, testable Disaster Recovery solutions, allowing you to fail over into public cloud infrastructure in the event of a disaster at a fraction of the cost of similar, on premise solutions.
Data center and Colo Migration – Hardware, power/cooling, maintenance, these are all large expenses for any organization running a traditional data center. As legacy hardware comes up for refresh, or Colo contracts come up for renewal, lots of companies are turning to the cloud to get out of the business of purchasing and managing hardware and instead focus their efforts on providing value to their organizations and end users.
The public cloud is the ideal location to get out of a current data center footprint. The cloud allows you to take advantage of the latest technology, at scale, and pay only for what you use, freeing you from massive upfront hardware costs or burdensome long-term colo contracts.
While organizations confront the shift to cloud technologies, Microsoft is also modernizing the way that these technologies and services are delivered to the customer. The cloud is a journey, and making that journey alone comes with a lot of challenges in terms of knowledge, time, and money. Companies that make the journey best, and find value in the cloud fastest, are those that work with an experienced partner to help guide them through the process.
Through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider Program, you can take advantage of the services the cloud has to offer, backed by Insight's team of Microsoft professionals to make sure you find success in your cloud journey. By pairing Azure Services with Insight's award winning 24/7 technical support, you can be assured that the monthly investment you are making is providing your organization with the highest return possible, and that you have a trusted partner to lean on when necessary. CSP also allows you the flexibility to use the cloud on your terms, with no upfront commitments, to make sure that your budget is directly aligned to the value the cloud delivers to your organization.