Part 4 of a five-part series on what to keep in mind as you transition to the cloud: Streamlining.

In part 1 of this series we took a look at security and vendor lock-in as possible concerns in moving to the cloud. In part 2 we looked at how cloud computing affects the bottom line. In part 3, we considered how cloud computing protects you in case of emergency. This week we’ll take a look at how the cloud can help you through streamlining.

There’s a simple question to ask of your IT Department at all times. Do our resources match our needs? In traditional IT departments, using what is often referred to as “legacy” IT infrastructure, hardware and applications have to be replenished every so often. Businesses know this and operate on a principle called “planned obsolescence.” This means that, by design, products will have a short shelf-life, soon to be replaced by the next version, the upgrade, the new cash cow. Sound familiar?

This cycle severely cuts into your bottom line. Just to keep up, you have to shell out thousands during the next tech release cycle, upgrading hardware, operating systems, and applications. Cloud computing means you can keep your business streamlined, without excessive and outdated machines or programs that no longer match your needs. We’ve seen storage closets chock full of outdated materials gathering dust. Cloud computing can help you greatly minimize these wasteful cycles.

Another factor in this process in traditional company infrastructures is a common disconnect between the IT department and the rest of the company. Lacking business acumen, IT departments can get caught up in marketing for the latest gadgets, the flavor of the month, rather than having a deep understanding of your business needs at all times and keeping your IT infrastructure and applications perfectly aligned to your goals, objectives, and strategies.

Your cloud migration period is a perfect time to ask some of the following questions:

  • What aspects of our IT set-up is helping us achieve our business goals?
  • What is working and what isn’t?
  • What can stay and what can go?
  • What else is available? Are there applications we need to add right away?

If you don’t feel qualified to make these determinations, your cloud hosting provider should also provide consulting services that can help uncover these issues for you, advise you how to proceed, and allow you to make the best decision for your business.

At True North, we aim to provide business leaders and IT pros with useful insight into the dynamic fields of computing services in the cloud, VMWare virtualization management consulting, as well as our variety of IT managed services to help your business meet its goals, and we hope you found this information helpful.

Please check in next week for Part 5 of our five-part series: Storage location.