Thin, bloated or otherwise–what’s the right IT mix?

There is a lot of talk nowadays about “IT bloat”, usually by the guys that are in the forefront of delivering Cloud services.  And they have a point, IT can bloat like mad if you don’t keep things under control.  Services like Office 365 can be a godsend for many organizations because they offer a solid, reliable platform for offloading bits of your IT infrastructure and that helps to reduce the bloat.  And we (itgroove) enthusiastically support Office 365 and many other Cloud services. 

But what is the “right” mix of cloud and on-premises?  Is bloat inevitable?  Can all of it be out there in the Cloud??  Talk about loaded questions! 

There are many of my peers out there that would contend that the best mix is to have nothing on premise.  That way it all becomes someone else’s headache – no backups to deal with, no hardware to nurse, no worries!  Well, maybe not quite “no worries” but, certainly, something approaching nirvana for a lot of business owners as the perception can be that all Cloud-based means there is no need for internal IT resources.  Other peers would contend that all on-premise is the only way to go because no one worries or cares about your “stuff” except “you”.

The reality is that each and every organization has its own set of needs and requirements and it is those needs and requirements that will define the mix.  And if the mix requires or engenders some bloat then that’s the way it is.  In other words, it is impossible to “cookie cutter” the IT fit for any particular organization, there are just too many variables at play.  The best mix you can hope for is one that maximizes the return you get for a given IT dollar spend. It pretty much goes without saying that “volume” day-to-day services like email are now probably best and most efficiently delivered via Cloud providers like Office 365.  As any IT admin and they will tell you that one of the least liked jobs is the care, feeding and backup of something like Exchange.  Moving it to the Cloud frees up those resources and moves the responsibility for care, feeding and backup to the Cloud provider.   The cost for doing so can actually come in below the cost for on-premise so that can give a better return on the dollar spend.

My personal take is that we will see hybrid environments (some on-premise, some Cloud) for some time to come.  Yes, I think more and more services will migrate to the Cloud and, at some point, it will be “odd” to see services housed on-premise.  But, for now and the near future, the reality is many organizations will continue to fight the bloat because some services will need to remain on-premise.  Look to consultants like the team at itgroove to help you make the intelligent decisions about how to leverage on-premise and Cloud to best meet your unique needs.