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Outsource versus Buy/Build? A look at Infrastructure in the Cloud Age

It’s the resounding question about IT infrastructure for decision-makers in tech: “Outsource or Buy/Build?” Many have been navigating this thought process for years. If your team is facing this decision, you are not alone. This discussion is going on at organizations large and small – and the truth is, no one answer works for everyone. Actually, no one answer always even works for a single organization.

There is opportunity to transition infrastructure in the “Cloud Age” – where providers offer ways to reduce spend and complexity, all while promising improvements in performance and reliability. Does some of it seem too good to be true? Perhaps.

Decisions, Decisions…there’s cost, and everything else

Let’s face it. Any opportunity to reduce or control spend – particularly CapEx – is welcomed, as the budgetary belts get tightened ever more and predictable spend is becoming more important. Demand continues to grow exponentially – more speed, capacity, reliability – yet budgets aren’t growing to match these changes. If anything, you’re expected to deliver more, with less.

In this context, moving to the “outsource” model holds tremendous appeal. It allows you to outsource the things that aren’t unique to your organization’s core purpose – you can remove equipment expenses, virtualize where possible and even unload software licensing in some cases…plus, perhaps most importantly, free up your staff to focus on the things that are more strategic and must be done in-house. Yes, this makes sense.

So, where do you turn? The largest of public cloud providers is appealing –outsourcing with reduced cost, plug and play models, seemingly everything that you need. Is there a catch? Maybe. To protect your organization’s interests, you’ll want to be aware of the following considerations as you shift to the “outsource” model for infrastructure.

Want to Stay on Budget? Read the Fine Print.

Cost predictability is critical. Make sure that all costs associated with public cloud options are clear, and aligned with what you have in your budget. For instance, “look for ingress and egress costs,” advises AGILE President & CEO Jeff Plank, “because keystrokes will cost you money.” In some cases, the volume of transactions will drive up costs, making a solution less attractive than originally imagined.

Public Cloud Isn’t For Everything.

Public cloud providers have changed the data landscape in many ways. Modern life has benefited greatly from “anywhere access” to storage for photos and other memory-hungry data. This makes sense for generic data storage. However, private cloud is still the optimal choice for critical applications. Consider which of your core business applications aren’t set up – or aren’t secure enough – to be in a public environment.

“Private cloud offers better security with more control over your data,” notes Plank. “In areas like healthcare and finance where sensitive, private information cannot be compromised, private cloud is the clear preferred choice.”

It’s 10pm. Do you know where your data is?

Not knowing where your data resides can be a gamble. Public cloud providers won’t necessarily tell you where your data will be stored, leaving you to wonder what happens if you are subject to an audit. This is an especially important factor for organizations with a requirement to have data reside in a specific locale.

With private cloud solutions, clients know exactly where the data resides. For even greater peace of mind, clients can help set up security policies and procedures for full transparency on how data is managed.

Looking for increased productivity, more reliability, better security?

It’s time to find a partner that enables your organization to off-load capital costs while giving you the cost predictability, reliability and security that you need.

AGILE is well-positioned to address the concerns about public cloud with its private and hybrid cloud offerings. “We meet new clients who are reworking their decision to transition exclusively to public cloud,” observes Plank, “and our solutions are focused on addressing their concerns.” Plank tackles the cost issue first: “We understand that cost predictability is essential, so we do not charge a variable fee for ingress and egress. Our pricing is not transaction-based – instead, our fixed cost model means clients won’t be surprised at the end of the month with a premium for high volume.”

Public cloud can still be a cost-effective solution for data and applications that are designed to operate there and have minimal spikes in volume or data storage needs. “With a multitude of systems and applications, most organizations will benefit from a hybrid mix of private and public cloud solutions that balance these considerations and use each solution strategically,” notes Plank.

Flexible solutions appeal to clients and meet their variety of needs with one partner. “Our adaptive private and hybrid cloud models are customized to client needs, and includes everything up to the operating system – servers, storage, VM licensing, network – all the infrastructure that a client needs to run their business, in a dedicated environment,” says Plank. “We will take your infrastructure from your building and build it within our facilities – dedicated to you only – so that you have full visibility. Some clients even partner with us to build it.”

According to Plank, it’s no longer a question of whether to “Outsource or Buy/Build?” He continues, “Unless your core business is operating data centers and networks, consider getting out of the data center and network business. Moving away from owned infrastructure toward a secure, predictable environment allows you to focus on your core business.” In today’s environment, it’s more about deciding “Where to buy?” For Plank, the answer to that question is clear: AGILE.

Tap into the expertise of Plank and his team. Visit their Contact Us page to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.