The more cloud computing has begun to dominate the market at multinational to SME level, the more apparent it has become that a whole set of new, specialist and still-rare skills are required. Even the largest corporations now recognise that there are serious question marks over finding the right people, much less the economics of having them on staff. Most aspects of cloud computing, in its many and growing variations, have become specialist and even esoteric.
“That is why the market today is looking more and more for managed cloud services,” said Jimmy Sheahan, chief technology officer of the Ergo Group. “SMEs really have little choice and they tend to be focused on a ‘simple is best’ approach. A typical bundled service from us today for smaller customers would be Microsoft Office 365, coupled with an xRM solution, perhaps Skype for Business. In that it is easy for us to provide all of the dynamics that they look for, such as low cost of entry, ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality, mobility and overall flexibility.”
With larger organisations, Sheahan said, the engagement begins at a consultative level looking at cloud transformation in the new digital business age. “We have the architectural conversation, the earlier the better, look to identify the benefits accurately and work to the RoI to be expected. The business and the business change impact has to be balanced by the technical work required.
“That often brings in serious challenges in transforming older, legacy and even analogue ways of doing business into seamless and web service-based solutions in the cloud. But cloud is the critical enabler, so we can turn on services quickly, scale out quickly and develop a really solid road map for future requirements.”
Organisations choose managed cloud services, Sheahan said, because they realise that everything in the digital world is changing fast and they need expertise. “There is likely to be a skills and experience deficit in even larger enterprises. But there is also the now inexorable trend towards divesting and outsourcing the management of platforms and systems that are not core and likely to be inhibiting them from focusing on the added value, revenue-generating front-edge things that IT can contribute to.”
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