Since the emergence of cloud, businesses have become increasingly accustomed to the idea of consumption-based, as-a-Service IT models.
Already prevalent in our personal lives, with car financing, mobile phone contracts, and entertainment subscriptions, the idea that businesses can shift their traditional capital IT expenses to ongoing OPEX expenses while paying only for the resources they use is an attractive one.
These models are also attractive to vendors, who can deliver their existing services and solutions in a more flexible fashion while securing recurring monthly revenue. As such, the as-a-Service market has become more and more diverse, with models extending across every area of your IT estate beyond original cloud models to software, devices, telephony and data centre infrastructure – in the case of the latter, even blending on-premises and cloud models to deliver the best of both worlds.
Despite the growing number of options available to businesses, there are still many organisations only tapping into a fraction of the potential, choosing instead to continue with existing approaches. For data centre infrastructure especially, organisations sometimes find it difficult to see beyond their company-owned on-premises environments, convinced that they are more reliable and secure.
However, the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the long-term implications for the way work has challenged traditional IT is driving a shift in strategy. As a result, IT models that were once seen as safe bets are now becoming potential blockers, unable to adapt and evolve at pace to meet new demands.
This is prompting more businesses to further explore consumption-based or as-a-Service IT solutions as they seek to be more responsive and agile. But what else can be realised by adopting this approach?
Both the immediate and on ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have seen that businesses must be able to respond at speed to changing demands.
This means that operating with a fixed resource capacity is simply not viable, as you could be left either overpaying for resource that you don’t require, or unable to access additional capacity when it is needed. The latter could lead to additional capex investment at a time when finances are already stretched.
With as-a-Service models, however, resource is right-sized at the outset, with the flexibility to scale up or down as required. This sees that you enjoy the level of infrastructure resource you need with the reassurance of knowing that your infrastructure is ready to scale in-line with new demands.
One of the biggest challenges with traditional infrastructure is the level of upfront investment required. While this brings the reassurance of technology ownership, it can be difficult to know how much you are really in for.
Proper scoping of on-premises resource relies heavily on capacity planning, but as the Covid-19 pandemic has perfectly evidenced, how can you cover for unforeseen eventualities that could occur part way through a 3-5 year refresh cycle?
The implication on cost is two-fold. Under-scoping your capacity at the outset will reduce the initial investment, but could leave you exposed to new challenges further down the line, and additional expense should you need to add more resource. This uncertainty sees that many organisations over-provision, paying for additional just-in-case capacity that they might not even need.
This is where as-a-Service models show their true worth. Their subscription-based approach allows you to shift expenditure from CAPEX to OPEX with predictable costs that cannot be achieved with traditional infrastructure. With a single monthly fee covering your entire infrastructure, you know that you are only paying for the resource you need. More importantly, you also know how much this will increase or decrease should you need to adjust your capacity. Many Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings typically include an additional capacity buffer that gives you flexibility to scale up without the need to pay for additional resource.
While traditional operating models can bring the reassurance of technology ownership, this coincides with the burden of infrastructure management.
When you own and manage your infrastructure, the responsibility for deploying, maintaining and monitoring your environment falls on your IT team, which can challenge stretched teams.
With an as-a-Service model you’re paying for outcomes, not just technology. This means that the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of the physical infrastructure behind your environment is offloaded to your provider. This leaves your IT team to manage the environment more quickly and easily, often using a single management tool. This in turn frees up more time for them to focus on other areas, reducing the overall overhead on your business to access the required infrastructure.
In light of the emerging shift to subscription-based infrastructure models, the comprehensive portfolio of APEX as-a-Service solutions from Dell Technologies delivers secure and resilient infrastructure on your terms.
With options for on-premises storage with APEX Data Storage Service, in the cloud with APEX Cloud Services, or a bespoke service created with APEX Custom Solutions, you can deploy and access your infrastructure, built with world-class technology, without the admin burden.
Crucially, you retain complete control, with the ability to actively manage your infrastructure day-to-day via the intuitive Dell APEX Console.