Almost all businesses have an IT department. The men and women who work in Information Technology (IT) do more than fix phones and computers in your office. IT operations involve implementing and maintaining the digital infrastructure of your company, keeping networks running smoothly, and automating processes for efficiency. It can be difficult to understand all of the responsibilities an IT department takes on, but they are a key part of any organization. That being said, they are typically an expensive part of an organization as well.
Technology is moving so fast that it can be costly for businesses to keep up. Hiring and maintaining a team of qualified IT professionals will take up a large part of your budget. These services are necessary to stay at ahead of the curve and keep your business running, but there are ways to reduce your cost for IT operations with cloud applications.
What are cloud applications?
Cloud applications are software programs that are not located on-site. Data is stored in a data center and can be accessed from anywhere. If you use remote servers, you can access them through a web browser. Popular cloud apps for businesses include email and file storage.
According to CIO, companies are increasingly using cloud-based applications for conferencing and collaboration tools as well as office and productivity suites. Enterprises can also set up test and development environments on a cloud platform or collect and analyze large amounts of data. Maropost cited additional uses for cloud applications including:
- Backing up data
- Business process apps
- CRM storage and management
- Marketing platforms
How can cloud applications reduce IT operations costs?
The salary for an IT professional in the United States can range from about $36,000 per year to more than $120,000 per year, according to Indeed.com. Paying salaries for an IT department will eat up a lot of your budget, but you cannot afford to ignore the functions they carry out. Transferring some of your in-house IT processes and systems to cloud applications is one way to reduce IT operations costs.
IBM found that companies can save significantly by using an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platform instead of hiring and maintaining an internal IT infrastructure. This service allows you to pay per user and scale up or down as your company’s needs change. Joe Hertvik at BMC listed several ways cloud applications can reduce IT costs. Among those benefits are:
- Cloud applications allow for the transformation of capital costs related to purchasing and maintaining in-house servers and equipment to operating expenditures.
- There are significantly fewer costs for setup and labor. Setup for cloud applications is much less intensive than buying and installing a server. Also, your cloud provider takes on all labor costs. You can lean on them for support when you need, instead of hiring a full-time team.
- Expanding your services through a cloud application is also much less than doing so with in-house servers. Your cloud provider can scale your application up or down based on your needs.
A study conducted by Rackspace found that 88% of cloud users reported cost savings and 56% cited higher profits thanks to cloud applications. Cloud apps were able to free up their IT team to focus on more complex tasks instead of maintaining the company’s infrastructure. Overall, introducing cloud applications has increased ROI for many companies.
If you run a small business, cloud software may seem like a big expense or an extravagant solution. It is important to realize, though, the amount of experience and support you can receive from a cloud service provider. Instead of paying to have multiple, experienced IT professionals on staff, you can utilize their services on an as-needed basis. You receive access to a higher level of support and expertise for a lower cost when it comes to cloud applications. The costs of a cloud-based service are typically billed on a monthly basis, making it easy to work these solutions into your corporate budget. You will have significantly fewer unexpected costs and can accurately plan for changing costs as your business needs alter.
With cloud applications, the responsibility for maintaining your infrastructure rests on the shoulders of someone else. Your service provider is able to provide help or offer compensation if an error ever occurs. Your IT system and information are also available all day, every day throughout the year, instead of whenever your employees are in the office. These applications are fully automated and run all the time, keeping your business moving forward.
Should you utilize cloud applications to reduce IT operations costs?
The benefits of cloud applications have not even been fully realized yet. Organizations are discovering new ways cloud services can help lower their IT costs and provide a secure infrastructure to better maintain their business. If any of the following apply to you, it might be beneficial to look into shifting some IT responsibilities to a cloud application:
- You are looking to increase your ROI.
- You want to introduce more flexibility into your business processes and infrastructure.
- You need to lower employee and payroll costs.
- You are interested in lessening your responsibility for in-house servers and infrastructure.
- You want to keep your organization at the front of new technology.
- You want to better budget for IT costs.
If it is time to implement cloud applications to reduce costs for IT operations, Pronix can help. Pronix provides advice, support, and services to shift your IT operations from in-house to the cloud. They are able to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible.