We're not going to beat around the bush here, if you're purchasing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, there's a lot to consider, but in the end you want to know how the plan is going to impact your bottom line. You need to work with a vendor that can show you the money, give you a way to create direct business value and talk your CFO into green lighting a project that may create significant changes to your IT budget.
And on top of all that, any cloud hosting solution needs to deliver its value over time, not just in initial cost savings. Most IaaS solutions will help you out in terms of capital costs right away because you aren't going to be buying tons of hardware. However, a poor IaaS strategy can leave you spending heavily over time for the resources you are leasing. As such, you need to make sure you establish a flexible, scalable and effective IaaS plan that can continue creating a return on investment after the initial capital savings have disappeared.
Creating long-term value in the cloud
IaaS solutions are particularly well placed to create revenue gains over an extended period. There are a few ways that IaaS can deliver on this promise:
- Reliability – A good vendor can ensure five nines (99.999) percent uptime, meaning you don't have to worry about losing production due to outages.
- Scalability – An IaaS plan makes it easier to adjust storage, memory or processing capabilities based on changing needs.
- Flexibility – The scalability offered by an IaaS solution gives your IT teams freedom to adjust app configurations and services with relative ease.
- Control – Cloud sprawl is a real problem, but a good vendor will handle your IaaS plan in a consultative way to help you avoid waste.
- Empowerment – The combination of stability and performance in an IaaS plan can empower your IT teams to align technology and business needs to maximize ROI.
Finding the right partner
When it comes to creating long-term value, few things are better than a vendor that considers the relationship a partnership. Some IaaS providers are just there to host your systems, but some will treat the relationship with mutual interest, leaving you with more opportunities to optimize everything from the service level agreements to the actual configuration. All the technical bells and whistles that come with IaaS are great, but the single most important factor in finding long-term revenue success is establishing an effective vendor relationship.