The Spread of the Cloud Helps IT Leaders Break Away From a Familiar Dilemma

Even if Information Technology is invaluable, keeping an eye on the costs it incurs is important. Returns on investment in the IT arena can be truly impressive, but every company benefits from learning to extract the same output from less in the way of input.

For many years, this mostly meant trying to do more with less in the way of staff and equipment. While many of them were worthy, these efforts at bottom-line improvement were often of an unsatisfying sort, particularly insofar as they so frequently introduced new difficulties along the way. After fighting too many indecisive battles of this kind, in fact, many IT decision-makers have become somewhat skittish about this style of undertaking.

While that might be understandable, the fact is that attitudes of that kind reflect a reality that has been superseded. There are excellent ways of cutting IT costs today that do not involve those sorts of dangers, as the most effective and open-minded IT leaders are finding out.

Most of these attractive new options lie in the cloud. Custom Cloud Solutions break out of the old mold of cost-cutting by removing IT provision entirely from the hands of those who pay for it. Instead, they look to a new breed of highly capable, agile suppliers to deliver what is needed through the network.

The increasing popularity of the Cloud Desktop for QuickBooks is an excellent example of this. While Intuit's venerable software package is an important tool for many organizations around the world, using it has always involved some challenges and compromises.

Cloud hosting providers are helping to overcome even the longest standing of these, saving their clients money while empowering them at the same time. A cloud-hosted QuickBooks installation, for example, neatly resolves the classic problem of data file sharing. Because a single remote server hosts the software that every employee uses, these files are available to all, at any time, wherever they might be.

Private Virtual Servers can provide help of a similar sort on an even grander scale. Open to doing anything that an on-site server might be, they open up the same kinds of access patterns, while also cutting costs. One company might use such servers for a Hosted Exchange installation, while another could use it for a web server, but the basic outcome would be the same. Instead of dealing with the age-old tension between cost-cutting and maintaining capability, they could benefit from improvements on both sides of the equation.