Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a cloud delivery model that allows an organization to rent a service provider’s computing resources instead of purchasing and installing infrastructure on-premises. Infrastructure components such as compute, networking, storage, operating systems and applications are delivered virtually via the Internet and scaled up or down as needed.
As an alternative to the IaaS model, some organizations will use cloud services through a co-location facility. In this model, server rack space at a remote location is rented. You can either manage your technology at this remote facility yourself or have a service provider manage it for you (managed hosting).
While either option for managing the technology has its pros and cons, IaaS is extremely cost-efficient and flexible. With dynamic scaling, metered usage and pay-as-you-go pricing, you only pay for the resources you need rather than trying to predict IT infrastructure demands and paying in advance. Also, the service provider is responsible for managing and maintaining infrastructure. Instead of taking care of technology and putting out fires, IT can focus on strategic, revenue-producing initiatives.
Cloud systems offer virtually unlimited resources and built-in redundancy, and performance is constantly monitored to ensure application requirements are met. Also, with better security tools and expertise, a cloud service provider’s infrastructure is typically more secure than an on-premises environment.
IaaS is particularly valuable to manufacturers that are under constant pressure to optimize operations and improve business agility. Cloud infrastructure is faster and easier to deploy than on-premises infrastructure. This makes it easier for manufacturers to take advantage of technological innovations that speed time to market, drive collaboration and reduce risk.
With IaaS, manufacturers are no longer limited by what their on-premises infrastructure can handle and in-house personnel can manage. Even manufacturers with the deepest of pockets can still benefit from the agility and flexibility provided by IaaS.
In the financial services sector, IaaS adoption is on the rise and use cases are increasing. While many financial services companies are still more comfortable keeping certain data on-premises, the cloud enables these organizations to take advantage of new services and capabilities and expedite important business initiatives. By moving back-office systems to the cloud, you can reduce or eliminate headaches related to hardware procurement, installation and maintenance, as well as power and cooling costs.
Customer-facing applications such as portals and mobile tools are often easier and less expensive to manage in the cloud. More financial services organizations are also using cloud-based analytics and business intelligence applications to automate processes, reduce errors and mine data for valuable business insights.
When choosing an IaaS provider, identify the reason for moving to the cloud, what you hope to achieve and how progress will be measured. Ask prospective providers a number of questions.
- Is there an uptime guarantee?
- How is data secured?
- What is your disaster recovery process?
- What kind of technical support do you offer?
- Which services and costs are included, and which ones are extra?
- What certifications do you have to prove you adhere to industry best practices and standards?
Even though cloud infrastructure and services are easier to implement than on-premises infrastructure and services, a high level of technical expertise is still required. Without the right skills and guidance, you could end up with a fragmented solution and service-level agreement that don’t meet your expectations. Let us help you understand how to take advantage of the cloud and choose the right solution for each use case.