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Cloud strategy development within systems integration

Cloud strategy development within systems integration

It is a fundamentally different proposal to work with a cloud system rather than a localised piece of software, which is why it has involved something of a paradigm shift within the industry in terms of how IT infrastructure is introduced and managed; particularly in terms of flexibility.

Some readers may not be aware of how a systems integrator fits into the wider IT sector; typically, they are tasked with combining different pre-packaged pieces of software to allow a firm to operate efficiently, then managing them as they develop. The reason why a company would bring in someone to do this is so that they do not have to pay for a separate, customised piece of software made specifically for the organisation.

With the number of cloud hosting options available to firms continuing to grow, the opportunity to save money and effort on IT is rising with this trend. How should systems integrators make the best of the situation though? Aside from the opportunity to use fewer resources to complete a task, the main thrust in terms of cloud strategy development should be how much a piece of software helps your scalability and overall flexibility.

A company tends to be in a constant state of flux in terms of the number of users involved and the amount of data being thrown around, so an IT team will regularly be called upon to make amendments to operating capacity. By relying on cloud software, the ability to alter the number of system configurations in use is improved and usually made simpler.

Where a firm working with localised servers might be faced with a more time-consuming process to upgrade processing capability or hard disk space, options that work in the cloud benefit from being much easier to configure. Within the boundaries of systems integration, this is a huge advantage as questions of capacity thresholds stop being a restricting factor and the focus can be placed entirely on the user experience.

Some professionals that have been in the systems integration industry for a long time may be still be sceptical about the cloud, but it is widely agreed that it is the future, so it is all about merging this concept into existing ideas on how a company’s internal IT architecture should be laid out – all the while making sure that functionality is not affected.

Naturally, there will be decisions that need to be made on how to maintain high levels of security for certain types of data, but this is not a problem as such; simply another option within the wider cloud.

For the systems integrator, the cloud essentially provides a more flexible strategy at a lower cost, while also delivering on the environmental side of operations thanks to lower energy usage. While this latter point may not always affect a company’s bottom line, the increasing prominence of green issues makes the move smart in terms of public relations. As a result, the cloudy future ahead is actually one to be welcomed with open arms.

Dominic Monkhouse joined PEER 1 Hosting as managing director of the company’s new UK operations in January, 2009, bringing more than 14 years of IT industry experience to the team. Dominic is the key executive responsible for building and growing PEER 1 Hosting’s expansion into Europe. In his role as managing director, Dominic is responsible for sales, marketing and service delivery across PEER 1 Hosting’s UK business and ensuring overall customer satisfaction. His role is integral to the company’s continued commitment to customer service. Before joining PEER 1 Hosting, Dominic served as managing director of IT Lab, where he was able to quickly transform the company into the fastest growing IT service provider in the UK SME market. Prior to IT Lab, he was managing director of Rackspace, which grew from a staff of four to 150 under his guidance. Dominic has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Food Marketing from Newcastle University and a MBA from Sheffield Business School in the UK. Dominic frequently participates in public speaking events on the topic of creating great places to work and achieving continuous client satisfaction. He also is involved as a judge of the Sunday Times Customer Experience Awards.

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