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Expertise-as-a-Service: How Much Is It Worth?

Beyond the technical benefits, outsourcing helps you access human expertise

Simply outsourcing your cloud technology isn’t where the benefits your company can access end. By leveraging your cloud provider for more than just the technology, you can gain a wealth of experience and know-how (read: tech support)  that can help your business get more value from your vendor relationship.

The tendency for companies to pursue this path is well established at this point, but in the cloud era, managed service providers have become ground zero for both technological and experiential value for the companies that use them.

Workers in a box

Beyond the technical benefits, outsourcing helps you access human expertise.

That’s where IT strategy is now, but how does this compare to what IT used to be?

IT used to be a monolithic proposition, running all enterprise applications, all the enterprise systems, all the desktop systems.

This required the maintenance of large IT staffs, with large salaries, benefits packages, and vacations. On top of this, the salaried staff needed support staff to ensure that the infrastructure and systems keeping the enterprise running didn’t crash overnight, on weekends, or during holidays.

And then it changed. Over the last 5 years, the justification for IT has shifted from money for innovation to innovation for revenue. Cloud has played a large part in this, with its widely discussed benefits and alteration towards how IT can use its financial resources.

Cloud has prompted the development of a reinvigoration of an outsourced approach to “acquiring” tech resources. While such a model for using different services has existed for quite some time, the cost/benefit balance of doing this from a technology perspective has shifted the way many industry practitioners understand and utilize technology, prompting an explosion of as-a-service offerings.

But as-a-service, particularly in the outsourced cloud context, has as much to do with the technical bench you can access as it does the hypervisor your cloud sits on.

When IT was seen only as a cost center, companies would seek to reduce headcount. But now that IT can provide strategic value to the business by navigating the stormy waters of cloud technology, it doesn’t make sense to attempt to keep a full staff to maintain the entire infrastructure when IT talent is scarce.

Having an outsourced IT team that can take care of day-to-day, menial infrastructure tasks enables IT hires to concentrate on emerging technologies and business opportunities that will create value for the business, returning IT to its prominence as an innovative force in the organization – a role it was always meant to inhabit.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering

By Jake Gardner

Read the original blog entry...

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