Cloud Management for Businesses That Don’t Want to Handle IT

There are any number of reasons why a company may have balked at hiring an IT staff. The budget may be too tight. The office itself may be too small to justify having one.

However, the cloud can change that dynamic by allowing companies to focus its IT efforts on the cloud instead. A cloud provider can automate specific IT management tasks into simple point-and-click operations, Jeremy Cioara, an IT trainer for several Fortune 500 companies, points out. Likewise, a cloud provider should provide end-to-end training, teaching clients how to move to a cloud based system.

A good cloud IT management system should be easy to set up and should not require a dedicated sys admin to improve the efficiency of an IT organization. The ideal monitoring system UI should be intuitive, empowering the entire IT staff with real-time visibility into IT performance so as to quickly identify and respond to any issues that come up, according to Kevin McGibben, CEO at LogicMonitor.

“A monitoring system adds value if the benefits of the system are greater than the acquisition, implementation and operational costs,” McGibben said.

However, it’s not enough just to show how to work individual features – organizations need to understand how all the pieces fit together into a seamless cloud-based infrastructure, Cioara pointed out.

That means being able to understand three critical phases of the project: Design, development and support.

Design involves making sure that the vendor’s solution is the best fit and right approach to your problem. Development means that the vendor can build and deliver the specified solution. Support means that the vendor can and will provide long-term support over an extended time period, including patches and updates to the system. “If the vendor can’t be responsible for the lifecycle of the project, you’d be best served finding one who can,” says Darryl Jung, Principal with Atlas Software Group.

Before choosing a cloud vendor, Jung added, it is vital to understand the vendor’s track record of success. “Most vendors are built to service a specific type of business size and industry,” he said. “This plays out in their support practices, turn around time and project or retainer budgets.” It is important to find a vendor who best fits your company culture. Otherwise, says Jung, you will find yourself in a situation that will strain and frustrate you more than it helps you. “We believe that if you’re a small business, you want to work with another small business with a track record of successfully working with small businesses,” he added.

While moving to the cloud can ease the load on your IT team, it does not eliminate the need for IT staff. Instead, it allows IT staff to focus on developing new solutions for an organization rather than bogging down in the day-to-day support and maintenance of network or server devices. That’s the advantage of going to cloud. The load is a little lighter.