Are You Worried About Cloud Sprawl?

As businesses embrace the cloud, and as applications and services migrate out of the internal datacenter, the question becomes, where is all that data going?

In the past, data and IT services were kept in the corporate data center, however, organizations today seek these traditional in-house services out in the cloud. This is done by growing organizations to lower their costs by choosing “pay-to-play” solutions that can grow as they do. Without some forethought, issues such as payroll and accounting are sourced to a vendor, CRM to another, server and email hosting to a third, HR functions to a fourth, website hosting to a fifth, and so on, often causing drastic problems. In large organizations, efforts to consolidate and eliminate outdated and expensive legacy systems, to shed the weight of internal functional groups, and to lower the operational costs of IT infrastructure are now driving services into the cloud. By empowering managers within the enterprise to negotiate their own vendor contracts, the centralized knowledge-base that once resided in IT or MIS organizations becomes obsolete. This fracturing of the IT fortress that has traditionally surrounded strategic company data can quickly lead to a situation where no one person or group has a complete understanding of where all of the organization’s data is going.

Today, a myriad of vendors can provide a host of cloud-based services, from CRM to email, document processing to databases. Many do one of these, or perhaps a handful of related services, very well. Each of these has unique contract nuances, SLA’s, and security postures. In a rush to realize the cost savings gained by moving legacy applications to the virtual host, an unwise organization might find their data being scattered by the wind rather than consolidated in the cloud.

But there is a choice, and choosing a single-vendor cloud that places all of your applications and data in one place may be a better solution for your business; a sole point of contact that hosts your servers, email, office suite, databases, and website drives complexity out of contracting, billing, service changes, and support. A sole provider allows an organization to manage its servers and services in a traditional way, preserving the benefits of a centralized datacenter, while realizing all of the benefits of the cloud. Having a single cloud provider presents a common SLA for all applications across the enterprise. Risk of data loss or compromise is reduced by a common security profile, and a centralized location of data eases the pain of reporting and auditing. Consolidating in the cloud maximizes advantages while minimizing risks.

Cloud-based solutions are the top choice for today’s business needs. The flexibility and accessibility of online CRM and document applications allow staff to meet demands in the office, on the road, or at home. Virtualization of email services drives down costly hardware investment, and takes a huge burden off of IT staff. Hosted database solutions reduce risk through redundancy, consistency, and available expertise. Shedding the weight of in-house datacenter operations can free up resources, and help to drive the bottom line. These opportunities improve IT service delivery, while lowering operational and capital costs.