Posted by:Ranjani Rao December 13th, 2011

IT departments across most enterprises invest the majority of their budget, efforts, resources and time towards the maintenance and support of existing systems. These teams have the job of administering heavy duty enterprise servers, vast networks, security systems (physical and digital) … and that’s just the hardware. There are also internal applications, software updates, software licenses, antivirus, remote access solutions, and performance optimizations … with teams of dedicated personnel working round the clock to assure 99.9% uptime at all costs.

Small enterprises don’t even have the bandwidth to support proper IT systems so they use external services or make do with a team of one or two people who run the show. Apart from the burden on these dedicated personnel, the enterprise itself loses in terms of growth opportunities and innovation. Why, even large enterprises with the finance and resources to have a professional team with necessary paraphernalia on board lose out.

What if internal IT experts had the time and resources to bend their minds towards the core competencies of the business they’re part of – discover new ways to improve business processes, build new strategies to make communication and networking more effective, in short, innovate to drive business growth?

Technology savvy personnel have been using external services over those provided by internal IT teams since years … covertly perhaps … but they’re keener on getting their job done in the most effective way possible rather than spending time and effort on something that’s not good enough. External service providers are competitive. They have to be, to retain customer loyalty. That’s their USP over internal IT apps.

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This is perhaps why IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) is gaining a foothold in small and large enterprises today, with business heads cogitating on which services to push to public clouds, which services to retain control over via private cloud, and the possible need for a private-public mix or hybrid cloud.

Internal IT departments may have the advantage of knowing the enterprise better than ITaaS providers in terms of compliance and business processes but that’s a gap they’re working overtime to close. Most external services get better with use as the apps are built to remember user behavior and preferences, making the application more relevant and useful over time. Personalization is a critical element that drives application adoption.

With ITaaS, enterprises look at zero investment cost, a much faster learning curve, optimized and secure infrastructure without enterprise intervention, flexible pricing based on the actual services used, easy application integration, easy scaling, multiple access platforms and devices, and centralized access.

Of course, it’s never as easy as it sounds. Moving to ITaaS is just one step in the whole equation. Businesses have to change the way they work, the way they think, and initiate processes and business elements that work to enhance a service model. Business as a service and IT as a service have to mature together for enterprises to reap the advantages of cloud based infrastructure.

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