Just because a computer manufacturer offers 50 machines at three-quarters of the price of another doesn't mean you're getting the best deal.
A large part of the IT procurement process involves observing the capabilities of available technology, as well as how much money an enterprise can afford to spend. The point of investing in cloud computing, data analytics or another IT-related sector is to change a business for the better, whether that transformation is minimal or monumental.
Understanding risk and compliance
Take cloud technology, for example. PC Magazine acknowledged the three operation models organizations are investing in, each of which serves a specific purpose:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service: A cloud services provider allows enterprises to store and access data from the shared networking power of its own data centers.
- Platform-as-a-Service: A CSP enables clients to use an environment for the purposes of developing and running applications as well as depositing and withdrawing information.
- Software-as-a-Service: A CSP supplies its customers with a set of applications that operate on the CSP's own cloud environment. An example of a company that offers this type of service is Salesforce.com.
Where does risk and compliance come into play? Say a health care organization plans on using an IaaS environment to store and access patient data. That means the entity needs to abide by standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Although this is easier said than done, a managed IT services company can help clients find CSPs possessing strong security protocols.
TROI IT Solutions Senior Technology Consultant and Seattle Manager Andrew Spottswood recently wrote a blog for Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, stating that although organizations may be wary of spending a large amount of cash on IT hardware, it's going to pay off in the long run. He noted that the cost of installing the equipment is about one-fifth of the expense of maintaining the network.
Therefore, when conducting a spend analysis on IT assets, procure a five-year warranty that will ensure you get the most out of the servers in your data center.
In reference to cloud computing, Spottswood regarded the provision favorably. Because cloud environments run off shared networking energy, the cloud offers enterprises the same processing power at a lower price tag. Maintaining the same level of operational efficiency at a fraction of conventional expenses can enable businesses to direct resources elsewhere.
With these considerations in mind, it's important to regard the capabilities of in-house IT personnel and the skill sets of CSPs.