How will the Cloud transform business?

22 June 2010

InTechnology Plc were Platinum Sponsors of the inaugural Cloud Circle Forum, which took place in April 2010 at the Park Plaza Hotel in London - http://www.thecloudcircle.com.

In the Keynote presentation delivered by Richard Quine, Product Director, Voice & Unified Communications, and Stefan Haase, Product Director - Data Cloud Services, InTechnology outlined the way in which Cloud Computing will transform the way the world does business, echoing Gartner's prediction that by 2012, 20% of businesses will own no IT assets as IT infrastructure moves into the cloud. Here are the highlights of the presentation.

InTechnology explained that Cloud Computing has the potential to free up valuable IT resources to focus on what's important to the business. Outsourcing important IT maintenance such as server backups, storage management, and patching leaves your IT resource free to focus on the areas that make real tangible benefits.

Cloud Computing is very much of the moment because of the general shortage of credit and capital funds. Unlike DIY IT systems, a cloud service should require minimal CAPEX, and is being considered by many organisations as a way out of their budget problems.

Drivers for cloud computing: cost and green issues

As Gartner states, IT has expanded beyond the confines of business to become intrinsic to every aspect of society. We've experienced a true democratisation of IT, and a market awash with mobile and context-aware computing devices. There is also the increasing importance of green IT which is now recognised as a global imperative with penalties for CO2 emissions and carbon analysis becoming the norm.

Cloud Computing has a major role to play here, because all functionality is delivered from within the network. Demand for cloud services has been driven by business requirements. The accelerated pace of server and storage virtualisation, and the exponential growth of voice services have served as two further areas of traction for cloud services. Add to this a severe lack of funding and a move towards working in smaller teams and the scene is set for Cloud Computing to radically change the way every IT service is delivered.

Enabling cloud services

Access to the cloud needs to be enabled from all locations across Ethernet and Broadband. As a result of InTechnology's investment in BT's 21CN, they now boast 97% UK coverage via 1,100 points of presence POPs. This means that cloud based communication, applications or telephony solutions can be delivered to virtually any business location with a guaranteed quality of service.

Managed solution to solve budget constraints

The driver behind the move "into the cloud" is a shift in infrastructure ownership, and changing enterprise budgets, and the emphasis is shifting to turn-key solutions. The landscape has changed in favour of managed service solutions hosted at either the customer's site or the managed service provider's data centre.

The benefits to business cannot be overstated. There is no longer any hardware or software to purchase, there are no ongoing upgrade or maintenance charges and it's a straightforward monthly service which results in dramatic cost savings.