IT budgets evolve with cloud services

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The obligations of maintaining an in-house server infrastructure are many, forcing most companies to focus on wringing the most ROI out of every penny spent on IT personnel and hardware. Adopting cloud-based strategies like virtualization, cloud-based server redundancy, and managed cloud services can help defray some of those costs. And that does more than just save money - it fundamentally changes IT’s role within the company, allowing the IT team to harness its skillset for larger tasks like maximizing server uptime, and to set its sights on greater prospects.

“I believe the budget distributions are shifting and a lot of that change is squarely due to the rapid growth of cloud technologies in the past decade,” explained Andrew Storms, senior director of DevOps for CloudPassage.

With a managed cloud solution, the minutiae of server storage and maintenance are left to the cloud provider, allowing companies to avoid costly investments in hardware and software. In addition to cutting capital expense, it also frees up time for internal IT staff. With more time left in the day, they’re able to focus on higher-level concerns, like helping the business scale smoothly.

Cloud service partners can provision growing SMBs with an expanded infrastructure while helping to prepare IT departments for rapid growth. They can also advise and execute on new demands as theSMBs evolve, instantly adding or removing bandwidth and only charging for what is used. With that taken care of, IT departments can help their company scale in other ways, like implementing new features, expanding support offerings, experimenting with new technology, or researching and developing new workflows and protocols. Now, IT’s role in the company’s growth isn’t limited to maintaining and expanding the IT infrastructure – it’s offering strategic contributions directly tied to profit and growth.

Storms goes on to say, “The overall percentage of budgets associated with each department in a company often changes as the company morphs during its maturity.” Many businesses are tempted to move budget away from IT as the company expands, investing it into areas that are more traditionally and closely tied to profits. During a time when cash flow is King, that’s an understandable knee-jerk reaction.

“For example, early on a company will spend more money on research and development, and then later - as the product matures - budgets begin to shift more into sales and marketing,” Storms continues.

But as the modern IT department, enabled by flexible cloud solutions, shifts its focus away from day-to-day updates and time-consuming backups and becomes more capable of impacting revenue, this classic shift that Storms describes will become less common - and less advantageous for the company. With the time and skillset to discover, evaluate, and integrate new technology, the IT department is where the future of your company will be determined.

The cost savings of the cloud have been a boon to small businesses. When properly managed, cloud services help keep priorities and structure intact as a company grows. Most importantly, the cloud frees up your IT team to tackle a broader range of more challenging issues. It is not, however, a magic bullet that instantaneously maximizes profitability upon adoption – it requires a well-executed strategy catered to your business needs. Your cloud provider should help you plan out your approach based on your market, budget, and projections, and offer support and guidance as your company expands.

This story, "IT budgets evolve with cloud services" was originally published by BrandPost.

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