This is part one in our feature about Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), whose ‘10-year overnight success’ echoes Fatboy Slim’s 90s hit album. In it, we look at how companies are using IaaS to accelerate innovation, and what to look for in a service partner.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is becoming the cornerstone for Australian businesses looking to drive innovation - something we’ve been hearing for more than a decade. The cloud adoption soundtrack could easily be: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Almost ten years after the original “year of the cloud” was announced in 2007 with the launch of Amazon Web Services, IaaS is finally becoming mainstream. In fact, recent research from Oracle indicates that four in 10 Australian businesses plan to run all or most of their IT infrastructure on the cloud within three years.
Gartner confirms that IaaS adoption is spreading at a rapid pace. The research firm’s research indicates the IaaS market has been steadily gaining by 40 per cent per annum since 2011, with global revenues expected to reach US$34.6 billion in 2017. They predict the market to more than double in size by 2020.
While Gartner believes that organisations applying a “cloud-first” strategy will drive deployment of virtual machines (VMs) to become the majority of all computing by 2020. Indeed, we are seeing evidence in Australia, with many organisations announcing “cloud-first” strategies.
What is IaaS, and do you need it?
In a nutshell, IaaS is a way of accessing computing power via a shared and highly scalable resource pool.
IaaS lets you commission and decommission IT resources super-fast on a pay-per-use model. You can change the design of your computing power any time, without needing to sign up for additional capex outlays. For this reason, most IaaS business cases have been created around the cost savings you can make by moving to an IaaS model.
You should consider IaaS if you:
- Need disaster recovery – it provides an excellent and relatively cheap backup and failover option for your own infrastructure.
- Do any kind of in-house DevOps or testing – your developers can spin up development and testing environments very quickly in an IaaS environment. In fact, the Oracle survey shows half of respondents say IaaS has significantly cut their time to deploy new applications and services.
- Require rapid scaling – if you are a startup, or business that relies on rapid provision of on-demand resources, you can use IaaS to on-charge incremental services with relatively easy ability to on-charge to clients or internal departments that need to scale quickly.
- Grapple with data – let’s face it, the data deluge is not ebbing. The current trend of Internet of Things (devices connected to the internet) is only going to escalate data gathering. Analysing that data can require huge storage and compute requirements. IaaS can give you the necessary grunt to do this at a lower cost of provisioning your own hardware to achieve the same data analytics.
- Want to disrupt, innovate, get agile – this era of constant change challenges every single facet of business. We have passed the point where IT was a necessary evil, and become the business pulse itself. With change accelerating, IaaS provides a pathway to agility that provisioning your own infrastructure simply can’t compete with.
- Aim to reduce complexity – free up resources by outsourcing your infrastructure, and hence reduce costs.
While cost will always be a driving factor, the focus has shifted to innovation and speed-to-market. Sixty-two per cent of respondents to Oracle’s survey say they use IaaS to drive innovation. The same number of respondents is using IaaS to rapidly deploy new applications or services. By contrast, less proportion (58%) use IaaS to drive down the cost to maintain their infrastructure.
To learn more about an effective IT strategy and how Cloud Computing could benefit your business, download the eBook on Building a Business Case for Investment and Innovation or Contact Us Here.