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Has the cloud de-mystified IT services?

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There is no doubt that the advent of cloud services has shaken up the ICT services industry. It is not another technology fad and, if handled correctly, can add significant value to business. Access to virtual services and next generation technology, with minimal cost, and the ability to set up infrastructure with little or no hassle, are major benefits.

Aldo van Tonder, CEO of FOXit. (Image: FOXit)

So claim Enterprise Project Management (EPM) specialists at FOXit, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and service provider focused on Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) in business.

“The major costs behind setting up your own infrastructure like hardware and licenses are no longer a stumbling block and because of this I see the adoption rate of newer technology defiantly increasing. With ability to adopt a cloud service whatever it may be i.e. Hosted e-mail, Hosted Project Server, Hosted SharePoint management also takes a step in the right direction,” says Aldo van Tonder, CEO of FOXit.

The company is quick to point out the fact that there are misconceptions in the market about cloud computing and cloud-based services. They refer to three main misconceptions – one being that the CIO should be driving this process, two being the legal and security aspect, and the third being cost saving.

Van Tonder and his team believe that it does not make sense that the CIO should be at the helm of this move onto cloud. Their argument is based on the fact that businesses that do move onto the cloud receive their IT services in a different way – and this would require a smaller IT department.

“Steve Ballmer recently spoke at the London School of Economics and said that the drive to cloud could lead to job losses of between ten and fifteen percent in the world wide job market. Because of this fear factor I highly doubt that a lot of CIO will be able to be impartial to the move. The second point is the legal and security side and here, once again, the CIO will look to their teams in this regard to help advise… once again you sit with the same problem that they will struggle to be unbiased because it is literally their jobs at stake,” comments Damian Nelson, National Sales Manager, FOXit.

However, it is the issue of cost saving that represents the most significant misconception of them all.

“Moving onto the cloud cannot be exclusively about cost saving. It needs to be about driving the value in the business, the most cloud is ever going to save you is one hundred percent. However, the more important figure to look at is the value it can add to your business which, unlike cost, has no limit if done properly,” Nelson continues.

He contests that the cost of moving forward with a cloud service are dependent on what service is taken and must be weighed up against the savings of moving to the cloud. “The realistic cost is money that has already been spent, if your company has large data centres or even small data centres you have already invested in infrastructure, licenses, manpower to manage all of it. Are you ready to give up that investment? For a lot of companies the simple answer is no.”

At the same time the company has advice about partnerships with service providers and those who claim to be experts in the provision of cloud-based services and related support.

“As we have seen from the South African market recently it is not difficult to start up, it is more difficult to stay up once you have. When the SEACOM cable went live, you suddenly had multiple ISPs popping up everywhere. Now, just a short time later, a lot of them have fallen away and only those that delivered on what they promised are still around – this will be the same with cloud. It is simply about the ability to deliver what you promise, with so many solutions and so many different opportunities for business to choose from simply saying you have a solution is no longer good enough, business’ and consumers are finally waking up to the fact that they can actually control the market and some Solution Providers have found this out the hard way by not making it,” says van Tonder.

According to FOXit reliability, trust and focus are identified as essential components of cloud-based service acquisition, provision and application. This must be kept in mind by those seeking to enter the cloud and derive maximum benefit.

Staff Writer

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