Cloud computing and growing opportunity in IT
Amazon is one of the few companies that offer services such as Elastic CloudsMUMBAI, INDIA: When we speak about solutions such as cloud, most solution providers might have braced it as if it were the future of information technology. But the fact is that cloud computing can be interpreted differently by different people.
This whole notion stems from the idea that the resources used by customers can be converted and shared virtually thereby giving a rise in virtual applications. Here again, storage is based upon the users need and capacity. In effect, the virtual environment is in all probability stored thousands of miles away from the reach of the local solution provider.
This basically becomes a catch-22 situation for a number of system integrators. To fully understand how cloud computing can affect decision making in IT, one needs to take a closer look at how technologies such as this can affect business processes with relation to the customer. Cloud computing in general covers a number of technologies. These would include managed service providers, application service providers, hosted servers, hosted storage technology, hosted security solutions along with a number of other services and technologies. However, a handful of those services are combined to help build a complete hosted solution. This basically eliminates the need for customary hardware generally found in some businesses.
While this may sound like a real downer, today's system integrators make most of their profits from integrating services, keeping hardware margins on a much lower side. The cloud, as we think of it, may just about eliminate or bring down the sale of hardware. However, it will still require training, support and maintenance - which can be further converted into revenue. So it basically all comes down to defining a culmination of services as packages which are then sold or purchased over a period of time.
However, technology providers looking to make a profit from using cloud services will need to narrow down on their choices. And those choices would answer the following:
What services can be offered ?How does one go about offering these services? What would be the right amount to charge? How to bill the services provided? How to support the chosen services?
What it means?
When you look at it from a larger point of view, there are several options for taking up cloud computing. The trouble is deciding on where to begin. For a number of solution providers MSP or Managed Service Provider is generally the best starting point. However, with MSP a solution provider has the chance of transcending into becoming both a customer and a provider of cloud services. When one looks at it as a whole, a typical MSP solution consists of a partner who provides system management services to end customers. But for that to happen, the partner must make use of an existing managed services platform.
In such a scenario the management platform will charge the solution provider for each monitored device. The solution provider on the other hand will then bill the customer after having added his/her margin. All in all an MSP or the solution provider carries on providing services to all registered customers eliminating the need to build it from scratch.
For small and medium businesses, hosted file servers are best way to go. The model consists of setting up a virtual file server which basically consists of file sharing, remote access along with a number of customary services that would otherwise be present locally.
Such a server brings several opportunities with it. For instance, solution providers can make use of virtualization technology, build small data centers and supply a hosted file server on their own. In addition, open source platforms such as Linux can be used to keep costs down. They can also choose to package options such as backup, support services and security for an additional fee.