The summer holiday season has now definitively drawn to a close, dear reader, and hopefully you spent at least a proportion of it somewhere glamorous and balmy. This author does have a recurring problem with summer holidays, though – one that many others undoubtedly share.
How many times has the urge arisen to wander round the local shops? And another: how many times has that ended in purchasing pointless paraphernalia? Not content with the lump cost of the trip, we end up buying a bunch of locally-flavoured trinkets. We will likely never need, use or wear these things again, but we still do it. The holiday trinket phenomenon is sadly something that also permeates the world of business on a regular basis. You pay for the major core purchase, and then end up paying for numerous extras that ultimately prove not to be worth much. In few places is that more true than in the realm of IT. Without a pay-as-you-go IT model, paying for what one doesn’t need is a widespread waste.
There are several ways that businesses can find themselves entrapped into paying for IT that they do not use. With so much software on the market, including many variants of what is essentially the same function, businesses are quite understandably not always sure of exactly what they need. Therefore, they may want to experiment with software – but in doing so, they end up locked into a contract. To end such an arrangement ahead of its natural expiry can be extremely difficult.
There are also a number of package application deals out there, usually in conjunction with hosted IT solutions. In short, the package may contain the particular application you need. However, it will come with a surplus of others that you do not find useful. In addition, software is being continuously updated. Those updates, without the right model in place, can easily become an elongated expense long after the initial purchase.
The Requirements Of The New Model
With the business world increasingly reliant on cutting-edge software, the option to reduce IT usage – or even cut it out completely – simply does not exist. That said, businesses with finite resources cannot continue with such a wasteful IT model. In an ideal world, that waste could be eliminated, in such a way that a business never pays for what it does not use. A pay-as-you-go IT model, in short.
In addition, this has to be considered from a technical perspective. To fully eliminate unnecessary costs, a solution has to confront the issue of updates. The IT platform must be able to deliver updates automatically and swiftly on release, and at no extra expense. These are the key requirements.
Crafting The Solution
To address the financial issues, let us first consider the technical perspective. If a business runs its IT onsite using hardware that sits in the office, that hardware is subject to various maintenance costs and has to be run internally. To create a pay-as-you-go model, that business data should be relocated to what is known as a virtualised environment. This means that it is remotely accessed through a secure internet connection in the cloud. The immediate financial advantage of this is that it renders hardware investment redundant in favour of a cloud provider.
In the public cloud, businesses are charged according to what they use as part of a continuous long-term arrangement, rather than a fixed lump sum. That means that the payment schedule may be ceased at the point the business stops using certain software. They may employ a prescribed set of multi-tenant applications, sharing the costs with other businesses. Alternatively, the private cloud gives businesses the liberty to create their own bespoke system, according to the same pay-as-you-go payment principles. This includes no back-door package deals to trip a business’ finances up. In addition, a constant connection is maintained with the cloud provider. That means that software updates can be delivered on the point of release, with no disruption to the user’s working day.
By outsourcing IT to a provider that can virtualise the business’ platform, the danger of wasting finances is allayed. Though businesses will still have the liberty to experiment with software and deduce what suits them best, the possibility of becoming tied into long-term package deals is eliminated. The costs of hardware, updates, and loss of business activity through network downtime are also at worst minimised – and at best eradicated. That makes it the ideal measure to ensure a pay-as-you-go structure, never being charged for pointless applications that your business never uses.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.
Written by Oliver Kiddell
Oliver Kiddell, Author at Viastak Technologists.