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Can your Data Center Compete with the Cloud?

One of the biggest challenges facing data centers today is determining what services they’re going to offer the organization tomorrow. More and more, business units are looking to cloud computing solutions as one of many options. It’s tempting for a given business unit to simply purchase a commercial application, outsource a given function, or subscribe to a cloud solution.

What this means is that your data center is in a tough spot. You’re still going to wind up with oversight for the solution, if in nothing else than making sure there’s sufficient bandwidth, connectivity, and client or network configurations to support the cloud-based solution.

You need to find ways to make your data center compete with the cloud, and to offer solutions to those business units. Here are some ways to make that happen:

  • Expand your service offerings. Figure out what sorts of standardized service offerings you can make. Focus on applications that may have implementations across several business units. The iconic example of this kind of application is email, of course, but there are plenty of other cross-unit solutions that you can offer.
  • Let application groups self-provision. By providing a basic web form where users can submit a request for a new server, you mimic the kind of process that a business unit would have when working with a cloud provider. This gives users an easier, on-demand experience.
  • Implement cloud technologies internally. A robust private cloud environment will allow you to better scale your service offerings, and will let you do provisioning as demand changes. Automation, virtualization, and convergence are all important elements to this process.
  • Consider chargebacks. Being able to display costs to a business unit lets them make better decisions about what solutions they really need. In addition, it shows them that internal solutions can often be competitive with the cloud in terms of pricing yet offer (in many cases) greater service levels.

Your data center should still be your organization’s first choice when it comes to implementing new solutions. These tips will help you stay competitive with cloud providers and the solutions they’re offering to your organization’s business units.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.