Today we are going to discuss some of the differences in the support models that a large number of small companies have used for years, and the support offered by cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Private Cloud Solutions provide and the level of expertise and cost savings your company could enjoy.
A lot of small companies have a Bob, you know him, the IT guy that handles all of the office IT needs and issues. He handles the support of everything from printers and workstations, to critical server hardware and operating system support, to network security and connectivity. Bob generally knows the environment very well and in a lot of cases has been there for years. But there are some draw backs to Bob. When he is not in the office and an issue arises, things can become very hectic. In a lot of these cases Bob is the only full time IT resource and the buck stops with him. And if the unmentionable happens and Bob leaves the company, many times the transition to the new IT guy can become very difficult, as the knowledge Bob has goes out the door with him.
Questions like are all of the process and important information documented? Do we have all of the vendor support information? Who do we call if our workstation won’t power on? Who do we call if new equipment has to be purchased? Bob has always been the guy that knows the answers to these questions and many more. Another scenario that happens frequently is when the server hardware or software need to be upgraded as they are no longer supported by the vendor, or if the company decides to upgrade critical business applications that require more server resources.
Server hardware and business applications can be very expensive and can take significant time for Bob to implement and support the new hardware and applications as he learns the new technologies himself. It is likely that Bob has been supporting the same hardware and software for years trying to save the company money and because of this he has not kept current with his IT knowledge. In many of these scenarios, the cost to employ Bob has become higher than the knowledge of technologies he supports. Unfortunately for the owners of the company, Bob is perceived as being indispensible to the business. What they don’t understand, or often willingly overlook, is the lack of IT expertise coupled with running old and de-supported systems are the primary factors of poor performance and system failures…and naturally, Bob is “Johnny on the spot” ready as always. After all, this is Bob’s insurance policy and it enables the owners to avoid putting money into IT.
Moving to the “cloud” with platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Private Cloud Solutions, has changed the model dramatically. The support, now handled by product specific expert engineers, is centralized and always on call. Today’s cloud platforms use leading edge technologies and follow industry Best Practices making migrations and upgrades seamless. In many cases the support is bundled into the cost of the cloud solution making it less expensive and infinitely better trained than Bob. With the support models offered by cloud providers and platforms, there is never a single point of IT support. There are multiple experts that specialize in server hardware, operating systems, virtual layer platforms as well as networking and security. They can provide services such as data backup and disaster recovery.
Cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Private Cloud Solutions offer the most responsive, scalable and cost effective support and typically with a reduction in total cost of ownership. The landscape of IT departments of both large and small companies is evolving and with it the expectations of critical IT support. With the rapidly changing IT landscape, many companies are reconsidering the feasibility of support beginning and ending with “Bob”.