From Pen to Paper to Cloud: In jig time
Some 13 years ago, when I was still cutting my teeth in the IT game, I worked in an organisation of about 100 users providing deskside support. One of those users, the CEO in this case, did not have a PC at his desk. One less user to worry about I thought, but I did wonder why this was, as everyone else in the organisation had one!
I wondered, how does he work? How does he correspond with his team and customers? How does he generate reports on business performance? How does he check the line-ups for the big game in Croke Park on Sunday? The answers, I soon found out - he used the phone on his desk to communicate, his team gave him printed reports and he read the newspapers to get the line-ups for the big game on Sunday.
Today, IT systems and services have enabled the business leaders of today to communicate instantly, digest on-demand business reports to enable successful decisions, and forward calls with the click of a mouse.
However, with any significant change in behaviour, there is disruption somewhere down the line. It’s fair to say that with the onset of cloud services, be they SaaS, IaaS, PaaS or “Whatever your having yourself” as a Service, disruption is being met head on by IT decision makers in the modern business of today. They must decide on how they are going to guarantee service availability whilst considering how those services have the potential to enhance the products or services that they in turn sell to their customers. Success for the CEO of today is having competent IT decision makers around them that enhances the bottom line, not reduce it.
The benefit of the cloud is to provide your business with measurable and successful differentiation, whatever vertical you operate in. We pride ourselves in being a modern managed service provider where we don’t just concern ourselves with system availability and functionality, we look deeper into what your organisation is trying to achieve. We are attracted to the cloud for the same reasons you are. You see it as a way of concentrating more resources on your customers and we see it as a method of adding real business value to you with infinitely flexible and scalable cloud solutions. We use our expertise to tap the power of cloud computing to enhance what you are selling without you having the pain of becoming an expert in cloud systems.
Just like any IT system though, it needs to be managed. Manged service providers like Ergo have had to change over the last number of years to build out a catalogue of services that complement the move to the cloud. Customers are asking us to migrate their existing systems entirely to the cloud, take full ownership of them and sell back those services under the “as a service” model. This is a fundamental change for the managed service provider of old.
Over the last 5 years, Office 365 has become the norm for messaging and collaboration; gone are the concerns over data location and ownership. Millions of users have completed their final email migration and countless IT managers have removed the headache of email servers from their infrastructure. The move to services such as Microsoft Azure and it’s ever growing eco-system will shortly become the norm just like Office 365. The same barriers that were presented to Office 365 are now crumbling as customers see the benefits of uptime SLAs, the scalability, the functionality and the security protocols and certifications that Azure offers out of the box. As cloud services become the norm, managed service providers must be ready to add a different type of value. They must be ready to manage customers that utilise multiple cloud services from multiple players in the market. Customers are most likely consuming IaaS, PaaS and SaaS from multiple providers and in some cases, they are not even aware of it.
The trick for our customers is to not fear the change, but to take stock and understand where you are on the journey of change. Embrace the cloud services you are already enjoying and expand on them so that you and your customers benefit. A happy customer is a happy workforce and a healthy bottom line.
I often wonder how that CEO I worked for 13 years ago operates today. 13 years is not a long time, but in terms of IT, it’s enough time to forget everything you once knew. I can’t be certain, but I imagine that he’s had many a conversation with IT leaders and I hope he has allowed them to add value, otherwise he’s not likely to be still in business.
Either way, he most likely uses an iPhone to watch Tipperary beat Cork again on a Sunday afternoon, or to scroll through photographs of his grandchildren and send them across the globe in an instant to another family member. If only he knew how simple his life was without a keyboard on his desk….I hope he’s not the nostalgic type.