Cloud or on-prem infrastructure

IT Infrastructure Strategy

INTRODUCTION

Are you approaching the need to invest in your IT Infrastructure? If so, you may be wondering what your options are, and what impact each option has on areas such as risk; scalability; commercials (TCO); disaster recovery and backup options.

The purpose of this article is to briefly highlight what the key options are in renewing IT Infrastructure, present case studies on clients who have adopted different models, but more importantly, to offer a path forward to help you understand which option is most suitable for your case.

Please bear in mind our focus is to get you to question what your business really needs from a high level; the nuts and bolts can come along later.

BUSINESS BEHAVIOUR TODAY

Over the years, there has been some mixed messaging. Initially, you would hear that “Infrastructure must be onsite”, almost as if being able to touch and see the equipment provided peace of mind. Now, many are preaching to move everything to the “Cloud” (we have all been there before with ‘trends’).

The reality is that the cloud is now better than ever – it’s more affordable, resilient, and offers great performance. However, the truth is that those facts alone are not a strong enough case to move there. Instead, you must study your business requirements to see if it’s the right option for you.

OPTIONS

To summarise the high-level options available to us:

  • Refresh on-premise infrastructure
  • Move everything to the cloud (365 / Azure)
  • Host your own infrastructure in a DC
  • Or a Hybrid approach

As you can imagine, each option comes with its own pros and cons. The art is to understand which option is most beneficial to your business.

CASE STUDIES

To give you some examples, we work with businesses nationwide providing IT Support and Projects. Below are just a few clients who we have implemented a different model of infrastructure to best benefit each of them uniquely:

BII: On-premise Infrastructure getting tired, backups weren’t working and had a poor support partner. The IT team really wanted to focus on strategy and delivering projects. They needed an OPEX model for their infrastructure but were open to where the kit was located. After several workshops with CMS, we migrated their Infrastructure to Azure cloud and Office to 365.

Cameron House: A stunning 5* Scottish Baronial Mansion, Cameron House was purchased by KSL Capital Partners for circa £75m in 2015. The remit was to provide a completely new IT Infrastructure hosted off-site, at the same time the client took the opportunity to upgrade all applications to newer more innovative apps that delivered real value to the business.

Trumeter Technologies: International manufacturer Trumeter, Head Office in Bury; manufacturing in Malaysia and two sites in the USA, recently a further site in the UK, Trumeter needed an Infrastructure that was both truly scalable and international, coupled with a 24*7*365 support mechanism. CMS implemented a cloud solution with IT Support for all sites. 10 years on Trumeter are still very happy with their model and we have an excellent relationship with them.

“IT is an enabling tool that allows us to run our business as efficiently as possible. By switching to the CMS Cloud Service we’ve sidestepped many of the day-to-day hardware and software management issues that don’t add any real value to the business. Instead, we’ve got a dynamic and flexible IT infrastructure that is both resilient and more suited to the demands of a rapidly growing Trumeter Technologies.” – John Smith. CEO, Trumeter Technologies

Cavalier Carpets: Cavalier Carpets required all data and infrastructure to be maintained onsite, however, they also realised the need to have an effective DR and Backup solution in place. We worked with Cavalier to implement an offsite managed Backup and DR solution whilst they maintained their core infrastructure onsite.

HOW

These examples paint but a few use cases for different models. To really understand what model would be most suitable, you need to do a real deep dive to understand your applications, how your business operates, your resilience requirements, costs, and more.

This is where we can help you. With our 25+years in the IT industry, we have experts in solution architecture and implementation.

If you are at a point in time when you are looking to refresh your infrastructure, I recommend we carry out a workshop to go through this in detail:

  1. First, we arrange a call to discuss high-level understanding of your business requirements, setup, etc
  2. Secondly, a day onsite with one of our Professional Services Architects to understand the business, where you are, plans and objectives, perceived challenges and growth strategy.
  3. Following the onsite day (no charge), we will propose putting together a High-Level IT Infrastructure Strategy that will use best of breed technologies to deliver the preferred solution for your business. The work to produce this will be outlined with appropriate costs. Strategy and solution to include: Risk Analysis; Commercials – TCO – potential growth in costs; Disaster Recovery – what are the real DR requirements – departmental risk analysis; True cost analysis; etc
  4. From here, we can help you implement the solution.

DISCUSS FURTHER

If you are approaching the renewal of your infrastructure and would like to understand which option would be best serve your business, I recommend you carry out this process. To arrange or discuss, call 01254 296 700 or click one of the buttons below.

Andrew Coop

Managing Director

CMS Group

 

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