How To Get On To The Cloud…. 3rd and final part of 3 simple understand guides to help you…

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CLOUD COMPUTING FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES

#TheCloud #SA #CloudComputing #TSP #CloudTechnology

DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

#IBM #SCSB #SA SmartCloud #TSP #TheCloud #WhatIsSocialBusiness

The 3rd and final part of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-

Part Three:- How to get onto the Cloud….

We recommend three steps for making Cloud an integral part of your IT strategy…..

Step 1. Realise the value of cloud

Adopting a Cloud Computing model requires a paradigm shift in business and IT. Before they invest in a Cloud-based solution or services delivered over The Cloud, it is a good idea for midsize companies to understand the value that Cloud can bring to their businesses. The right Cloud architecture enables companies to reap the cost advantages of shared hardware, while physically separating and securing data with virtualisation. Establishing a task force to evaluate which areas of IT and your business would most benefit from a move to the Cloud is one way to determine which architecture is right for your company. Or, you can enlist the aid of a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations.

Step 2. Explore cloud capabilities

Midsize companies often have limited resources and therefore want to make the most of their IT investment (dollars, skills, infrastructure, and capacity) to achieve economies of scale. They need surety as they make business decisions and want to be flexible and agile to respond immediately to market changes and opportunities. Cloud Computing directly addresses these needs. However, because Cloud is new and requires the paradigm shift mentioned earlier, putting critical workloads and data in the cloud can seem daunting. To get started with cloud, it is often advisable to focus on optimized technology models or adopt cloud for smaller, non-critical workloads such as sales force automation, time tracking, collaboration, workforce management, application development and testing, business continuity and disaster recovery. This incremental approach will help your company become accustomed to the cloud while reaping the benefits described in this paper.

Step 3. Grow your secure cloud environment and scale over time

After a midsize company has implemented basic cloud capabilities in the exploratory phase, or if the company already has cloud architecture in place, it is time to consider expanding it beyond initial cloud implementations of narrowly-focused workloads. For example, companies that are experienced with cloud services can benefit from the cloud-delivered security solutions as described earlier. Cloud-delivered security of the IT network could make the midsize company less vulnerable to attacks and loss of data. The midsize company should also consider their cloud integration options.

#SA #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #TSP #TheCloudIBM is already known for industry-leading application integration capabilities for both on-premise and business to business applications. Now, with the addition of Cast Iron Systems to IBM’s software portfolio, IBM is able to offer clients a complete platform to integrate cloud applications from leading providers. And, finally, for those midsize companies who understand the value of Cloud Computing, but still do not wish to put their data in a hosted or Public Cloud deployment, they can consider building and deploying private Cloud’s with industry-leading technologies from IBM hardware, software and services.

#IBM #SocialBusiness #TheCloud #SA #TSP

Next steps: Choosing the right Cloud solution…….

 #Cloud #CloudComputing #SA #CloudConnectivitiy #TSP #TSP

For midsize companies like yours, Cloud Computing is a viable option for reducing operating costs, simplifying business processes and collaborating more easily. However, deciding on the right solution or solutions can be daunting. Do you choose an architecture? A series of services delivered in the Cloud? How do you know whether your solution was designed for a midsize business?

One method of researching, is to look for solutions for midsize businesses that map to the six benefits mentioned in the “Why Cloud?” stage of this series of of blogs series of of blogs. Server virtualisation, automatic network backup and virtualised desktop services can increase business agility. Cloud-based smart analytics and business analytics and optimization services turn business information into insight.

To protect your data and systems from hackers and attacks, look for Cloud-based solutions that identify attacks on and safeguard your IT infrastructure, monitor threats, test web applications for vulnerabilities and continuously and automatically secure your network. Cloud-based collaboration, social networking, email, scheduling and contact management solutions can help you connect and empower your workforce, customers and partners. Smart business desktops and monitoring services, along with development, test and deployment, in the Cloud can drive effectiveness and efficiency.

In addition, before you begin evaluating specific solutions, it is helpful to establish some general guidelines that can help you in the process. For example, does your company view IT as an important part of your business, providing innovation and competitive differentiation? Or is IT a behind-the-scenes facilitator for plans made elsewhere in your business? The answers to those questions can tell you whether to look for solutions that strengthen the role IT plays in innovation and competitive differentiation or to search out solutions that will make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to facilitate plans.

Another consideration is how many physical sites your company has. Firms with a single site find coordinating technology resources easy, whereas those with multiple sites require more work.

According to IDC, on average, midsize firms have 10 locations, with IT resources usually based at headquarters. This can increase the complexity of data and application maintenance, along with the installation of new software and upgrades. Therefore, companies with multiple sites might find that implementing an entire Cloud architecture or a private Cloud is more beneficial and those with one or just a few sites might be satisfied with services delivered from the public Cloud. Other factors to take into consideration include mergers and acquisitions and the role of mobile workers in your company.

Midsize companies that are growing because of mergers and acquisitions – and even product successes – are going to need cloud solutions that can help them integrate existing and older systems from what were once separate companies but are now part of your company. They should look for Cloud Solutions that can provide their entire organisation access to a central set of rationalised offerings. In the case of mobile workers, ask yourself what extent would remote sales staff improve their sales rates if they could access inventory positions or competitive intelligence in real time? Even a 5 percent improvement is an effective argument for using the Cloud to provide them access to that information, especially if providing it to them by other means has been cost prohibitive.

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Other questions to ask as you consider Cloud Solutions

    • How long does it take you to react and deliver a new IT service to users?
    • How many steps are in your provisioning process?
    • What is the ratio of system administration staff to servers in your company?
    • What role has human error played in your outages?
    • How are systems sized and scaled quickly?
    • How many images are there per user? Is IT sized for minimum, mean or peak?
    • How do you currently manage and track employee expenses?
    • How much of your budget allows for innovation that supports new business initiatives?

The answers to these questions and others will establish the guidelines that can help you develop a framework for deciding which Cloud Solutions suit your company best. However, another option is to consider partnering with a third-party advisor with experience in, knowledge of, and experts on Cloud Computing for midsize businesses. A trusted advisor will be able to view your organization with an objective eye, help you identify bottlenecks that you might have missed and recommend the Cloud Technology that can meet all of your objectives while reducing costs and increasing your competitive advantage.

#TheCloud #BuildingYourBusiness #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #ServiceAddress

Conclusion 

Cloud Computing is a style of computing that provides applications, Data and IT resources to users as services delivered over the public Internet or a private network. It enables self-service, economies of scale and flexible sourcing options. When you take into account the needs of midsize businesses—doing more with less, reducing risk, higher quality services and breakthrough agility – Cloud is an ideal fit. Midsize companies should consider Cloud as an option for meeting their challenges and addressing their priorities. Cloud is simple to deploy quickly. Companies pay just for what they use. The costs per month are low and it requires fewer resources than in-house implementations. And unlike hardware, Cloud Computing is not an all or nothing investment, so companies can keep costs down without affecting performance.

Companies are asked to look at infrastructure and computing in ways that are new to them while being presented with an almost dizzying array of Cloud solutions. Many are excited about the prospect of Cloud but daunted by the task of moving processes and infrastructure to the Cloud. They should consider partnering with a company with experience in cloud. A trusted advisor will be able to view their organizations with an objective eye and recommend the Cloud Technology that can meet all their business objectives while reducing costs and increasing their competitive advantage.

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How to get onto the Cloud:

1) Finding a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations –  here are a few examples of people for you to speak

2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public Cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.

 

 

This three step guide was produced for Service Address  by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….

 

 

 

To learn more about how we can help you understand The Cloud better, then contact us via here or complete the form below:-

Why Cloud? 2nd of 3 simple understand guides to help you…

CLOUD COMPUTING FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #Service-Address #ServiceAddress #Mobile-Marketing #Social-Media-Process

DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

2nd of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-

PART TWO:- WHY CLOUD….

  • There are a number of reasons why midsize companies should consider cloud as an option for meeting their challenges and addressing their priorities. Cloud is simple to deploy quickly. You pay just for what you use. It allows internal resources to focus on higher value IT services to your business. How does it do this? By offering:-
    • Single virtual appliance workloads
    • IT development and test environments
    • Mature packaged offerings, such as email, collaboration, salesforce automation
    • Web application assessments for security and compliance
    • Isolated workloads where latency between components is not an issue
    • Desktop, storage, backup and restore solutions and services

Using these Cloud capabilities and solutions, you can:-

    • Increase agility
    • Turn information into insight
    • Protect data, application and systems
    • Connect and empower people
    • Drive effectiveness and efficiency
    • Enable your internal resources to focus on providing higher-value IT services to your business

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The following sections describe how:-

Increasing agility

In this complex and uncertain world, midsize companies  struggle to keep pace with change. This becomes difficult when business processes cannot be altered as fast as the market demands. Also, the high cost of maintaining the infrastructure that supports applications and services can make it difficult for midsize companies to accommodate market changes. Because Cloud computing simplifies infrastructure management and builds inflexibility, it helps increase business agility because applications can respond immediately to new business requirements. Cloud computing makes it possible to manage service levels in a controlled fashion, route traffic based on changing demands and run more workloads with fewer servers. In addition, you can significantly speed time to value when you deploy business process management (BPM) solutions and other workloads from the cloud. In short, the increased agility provided by cloud can help you roll out new products faster.

Turning information into insight

Having access to the right information at the right time is what enables smart businesses to make the right decisions in a timely fashion. Yet, a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study discovered that one in two business leaders do not have sufficient information from across their organization to do their jobs. Business analytics and reporting can help. With business analytics, companies take information that is either isolated or scattered all over their organizations and transform it into insight that can improve decision making and company performance. However, many business analytics solutions are compute intensive, requiring a great deal of processing power.

Cloud computing offers an alternative to acquiring the power, servers and applications for business analytics by making it possible to access a single business analytics environment capable of supporting all users in the company. Midsize companies can take a self service approach to delivering business analytics services to new divisions, departments and users that reduces time, resources and costs.

Protecting data, applications and systems

Midsize companies understand the need for information security, but still struggle to manage the cost and complexity of a myriad of security technologies for everything from threat prevention to email security, vulnerability scanning and security event and log management. However, it is possible to secure data, application, systems and infrastructure at a lower cost—by taking advantage of security solutions that are available on the Cloud.

Cloud-delivered security enhances the security of the IT network in a practical way, requiring fewer IT resources and providing access to security experts whenever it is needed. In addition, there are no hardware and software licenses to purchase and no associated maintenance fees. The cloud delivery model also helps reduce security complexity because companies do not have to manage, configure and patch a proliferation of security devices and  technologies.

Because Cloud providers manage the data center that the cloud solutions are delivered from and those providers and centers are shared by multiple customers, Midsize companies can feel confident that their systems are secure. Cloud helps provide a valuable backup to on-premises computing.

#TheCloud #BuildingYourBusiness #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #ServiceAddress

Connecting and empowering people

A new generation of social media savvy workers has emerged. They prefer to use communities, forums, wikis and blogs todiscuss and refine ideas with one another and with customers.

In fact, more and more, an organization’s brand is experienced through its people. As a result, there has been a significant rise in demand for social networking capabilities in midsize businesses.

Cloud is an easy and cost-effective way for Midsize companies to provide social networking and other collaborative tools such as email and instant messaging. By moving applications that connect employees, companies and customers to the Cloud, midsize companies can empower employees without the responsibility of maintaining applications and infrastructure. Everything can be done with a web browser. As a result, everyone can work more efficiently and effectively.

Driving effectiveness and efficiency

Improving the economics and elasticity of infrastructure and development processes can help midsize businesses achieve new levels of business efficiency and effectiveness. Moving activities such as developing, testing and accessing applications to the cloud is one way to reduce cycle times, improve quality and lower the costs of these activities. When development and testing is delivered from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can save on most capital and licensing expenses, reduce operating and labour costs with automated provisioning and configuration and improve quality by reducing defects from faulty configurations and poor modelling. Cycle times can be reduced with reuse of codes and images.

When application and business services are provided from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can benefit from efficient desktop management, application monitoring and lower user IT support costs. When they are not being hampered by difficult access to the applications and environments they need to get their tasks done, developers and workers are not only more productive, but also what they produce is higher quality.

Cloud really is ideal for midsize businesses

When you take into account the needs of Midsize Businesses  – doing more with less, reducing risk, higher quality services and breakthrough agility – Cloud is an ideal fit. Accessing business services, software, platforms, infrastructure and security from the Cloud provides all kinds of benefits to Midsize companies who often must work with limited resources and budgets. With Cloud solutions, midsize companies can:-

    • Reduce capital expenditures and operational expenses.
    • Ensure the right levels of security and resiliency for all business data and processes.
    • Improve quality of services and deliver new services that help the business grow and reduce costs.
    • Increase ability to quickly deliver new services to capitalize on opportunities while containing costs and managing risk

With these kinds of benefits, it makes sense to adopt cloud as an integral part of your IT strategy.

Savvy Midsize Businesses are already pursuing the use of Cloud Computing, primarily because it helps them transfer capital costs to operational costs, reduce operational costs, improve product and services time-market and raise levels of quality. The key to achieving these benefits is to be precise about which of your capabilities can benefit from Cloud and move specific workloads rather than simply trying to “cloud enable” an entire IT infrastructure all at once.

How to get onto the Cloud……

1) Finding a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations –  here are a few examples of people for you to speak

2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.

This is the second part of a three step guide that was produced for Service Address  by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….

To learn more about how we can help you understand The Cloud. better, then contact us via here or complete the form below:-

What’s The Cloud? 1st of 3 simple understand guides to help you…

ClouD computing FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES

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DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY

#TheCloud #BuildingYourBusiness #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #ServiceAddress

1st of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-

PART ONE:- WHAT IS The Cloud….

Midsize companies often have limited resources and therefore want to make the most of their IT investment (dollars, skills, infrastructure and capacity) to achieve economies of scale. They need innovative, secure and cost-effective ways to cut costs without disrupting current business operations, and improve both efficiency and employee productivity. They also want to enter new markets and find new opportunities, while managing risk, improving business agility and retaining customers.

To achieve these goals, many midsize companies are starting to think differently about infrastructure. Instead of acquiring more storage, adding new servers or server rooms, or “ripping and replacing” inefficient hardware and software, midsize businesses could benefit from the cloud computing model.

Cloud Computing directly addresses midsize business needs…..

 Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider integration.”

It rapidly provisions standardized services over the public Internet or a private network and can be used to reduce IT complexity and accelerate business value. It is an entirely new way of thinking about computing and business. And it can lead to extraordinary cost savings and business innovation.

This blog provides a brief overview of cloud computing, explains how midsize companies can benefit, and describes the steps they can take to take advantage of what it has to offer.

Thinking differently about infrastructure…..

Midsize companies require flexibility and agility to respond to change, to innovate rapidly and to achieve faster time to market so they can profitably grow their business—even while facing resource constraints and a need to reduce costs. However, it can be difficult to be flexible and agile when you consider the infrastructure and computing challenges that are affecting midsize companies in the form of:

    • Lost business opportunities—Midsize companies are losing business opportunities because their IT environments lack the agility and scale needed for innovation. They need infrastructure with an amplifying effect, one that enables them to compete with larger companies
    • Complex IT change management—Change management processes used by midsize companies can be very complex and this can result in errors
    • Costly infrastructure investments—Investing in new infrastructure can be costly in terms of upfront outlay and the “rip and replace” process
    • Server sprawl with low utilization—Many midsize businesses are experiencing server sprawl but usage levels remain low while others don’t know what resources they are using or what they cost
    • Security, audit and compliance—Compliance, auditing and security patching are taking a significant toll on midsize company budgets
    • Difficulty funding new IT projects—Midsize companies are not able to fund new IT priorities because their IT budget is being spent on maintaining their current infrastructure

As a result, midsize companies need innovative, secure and cost-effective ways to cut costs without disrupting current business operations, improve efficiency and employee productivity, enter new markets and find new opportunities, manage risk, improve business agility and retain customers. To achieve these goals, it’s time for midsize companies to start thinking differently about infrastructure. Instead of acquiring more storage, adding new servers or server rooms, or “ripping and replacing” inefficient hardware and software, midsize businesses could benefit from the cloud computing model. The Cloud provides an amplifying effect that enables midsize companies to compete with larger companies.

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It’s time to consider The Cloud…..

In recent years the Internet has taken on greater significance as a conduit for an enormous amount of computing capability. Using the Internet to gain access to and deploy computing resources is often referred to as a “cloud computing.” In a nutshell, cloud computing changes IT services delivery in the same way that ATMs changed banking and the web has changed commerce.

The Cloud provides applications, data and IT resources using virtualised computing resources and you can use it to acquire computing services that can help improve business performance and control the costs of providing IT resources to your organization. Four major categories of cloud computing services have emerged that transform how IT services can be used:-

1) BPaaS 

The first category is cloud business processes as a service, which makes business processes available from the cloud using web interfaces and exploiting web-oriented cloud architecture. The provider of the business processes is responsible for the related functions. Examples include multi-tenant, self-service provisioning, elastic scaling and usage metering or pricing

2) SaaS

The second category is cloud software as a service, which makes a provider’s enterprise applications, analytics and collaboration available to consumers from the provider’s cloud infrastructures using a thin client user interface. Customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and business analytics software are examples of enterprise applications that you can find in this layer

3) PaaS

The third category is cloud platform as a service, which deploys consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages and tools (supported by a provider) onto the cloud infrastructure. Examples of these applications include database applications, middleware, development tools, Java and Web 2.0 application runtimes

4) IaaS

The fourth category is cloud infrastructure as a service, which provides provisions processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources to the consumer. Servers, networking, data center, storage and security are examples of what this category of cloud computing delivers

 Public / Private / Hybrid…..

The Cloud is also not limited to one type of deployment. There is a spectrum of options available for you to choose from. The most common is a public cloud option. At the other end of the spectrum is a private cloud deployment where a company owns, manages and controls all the resources. It is also possible to merge the options between public and private and create what has been coined a “hybrid cloud.” Companies can elect to design and build their own cloud computing environments, putting in place the infrastructure, hardware and software needed to operate and manage a private cloud. Or, they might decide to manage only certain layers, such as the application layer, and tap into a public cloud or a third party-owned private cloud for the infrastructure and platform layers. It is one of the most effective ways that midsize companies can meet infrastructure and computing demands without breaking the bank.

How to get onto The Cloud…..

1) Finding a trusted advisor with cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations –  here are a few examples of people for you to speak

2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.

 

 

This three step guide was produced for Service Address  by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….

To learn more about how we can help you understand The Cloud better, then contact us via here or complete the form below:-