Keep Your IT Guy and Outsource IT Services, Too


Everyone in the office loves Eric. Sporting a different ironic t-shirt everyday, Eric is the one we call when technology spits in our face. Whether it's a slow system, a bug that needs to be squashed, a website issue, or a crash that results in unexpected downtime and data loss, Eric is right there. Not only does he get to the bottom of any issue but he also rights the ship like he's some sort of miracle-working captain who just happens to have a pretty wickedly funny Peter Griffin from Family Guy impersonation.

But business is growing and Eric is overworked. Eric has certain skills that you'd love to use to develop innovative applications and revenue-generating projects-- but he's too busy running around fixing things that break. Or he's performing the most mundane and routine tasks day-in-and-day-out just to keep things secure and running smoothly.

You get a sense that Eric's overburdened and he's saddled with too many responsibilities. His demeanor has changed from pleasant to moody. He's listening to angrier metal and punk music and you're noticing cracks in his work. You fear Eric is being pulled in too many directions and the reliability of your server, network, and applications, as well as the integrity of your data, are all at risk.

Someone who has watched a bit too much of Donald Trump on The Apprentice might think Eric should be fired. We're not going to fire Eric. But we're also not going to hire a full-time salaried Robin to his Batman or Cheech to his Chong. We're going to help Eric by exploiting IT automation and managed services to handle many of the monotonous tasks making Eric hate his job right now.

Let's help Eric.....

  • Focus Primarily on Cost-Cutting and Revenue Increasing Projects: First things first, Eric has to realize that he can't do everything himself. Where are his skills best used? Whether it's processes that help drive down costs or ones with the potential to raise revenue, evaluate the projects in the queue and rank them by what impacts the bottom line the most.

    Once that's done, look at the day-to-day processes designed to keep things running securely and efficiently. What can be off-loaded from Eric? Determine which of those tasks can be automated either through the cloud or managed services.
  • Take to the Cloud: Some IT people fear the cloud spells the end to their job security. Meanwhile, the cloud can actually help them take on a more prominent contributing role in the company's success.
    The cloud should be seen as another tool that further eliminates the mundane yet necessary daily drudgery from their workday. Those who work WITH the cloud will find that they have more available time to take on more meaningful cost cutting or revenue generating projects. 
  • Use a Managed Service Provider: Using outsourced managed services not only alleviates much of Eric's pressure and stress, but also boosts productivity and gives the company a much improved ROI (Return-on-Investment) on their technology investment.

    While technology has gotten easier for the end user, it has become more complex on the backend with the advent of virtualization, cloud computing, and advanced infrastructure.

    Using an MSP gives Eric access to a trusted adviser, a 24/7 help desk, remote monitoring and management tools, and much better disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. All without the overhead that comes with hiring more help for Eric. MSPs offer a consistency to not just your end-user but also your main IT guy who will certainly appreciate the help.

Cloud or dedicated server? Where is the smart money going?

Should you be entrusting your data to the cloud or keeping it down to earth on your own servers? This is a decision facing every CIO. And it’s one they’ll be forced to justify and revisit regularly for the foreseeable future. That’s because there’s been no knock-out blow in the argument between the cloud and the in-house server. There’s plenty to be said for both, which makes the question one of what’s right for you.

Looking cloudward

Surely the chance to ditch your servers and outsource to someone who is steeped in server management seems like a gift from the universe.

The arguments in favor of cloud computing are easy to make, especially to someone frustrated by the intellectual overhead and raw cost of maintaining their own servers.

The promises of the cloud include the following.

  • You pay only for what you use, so it’s incredibly flexible; you can scale up or down at will.
  • Security, upgrading, and server configuration are in the hands of experts.

In these days of everything being “as-a-service,” the idea of owning anything like a server seems downright old-fashioned. If Uber can run the world’s largest taxi service without owning any taxis, why on earth would you need to own servers?

Where to look closely

There are a few things you need to factor in to make sure you’re comfortable with any potential compromises.

Power: Cloud providers can’t match the power of a dedicated server that’s properly configured.

Speed: The scalability of the cloud has to do with getting more or less storage, not faster storage, which might be a concern when another customer is flogging the server you’re on.

Latency: If your cloud host uses dispersed locations or it’s not nearby, you might have latency issues

Taking a dedicated approach

The promise of cloud computing is most clearly seen in companies meeting one or more of the following criteria.

  • Tight budgets
  • Growth they can’t predict
  • Business-to-consumer models
  • Jobs that don’t need lots of computer power or storage or much time to run

A company that has a business-to-business model or has well-established usage needs and predictable growth will likely find running its own servers cheaper and more efficient. This is something you can quickly run the numbers on, and the results might surprise you, considering that “cheaper” is a clarion call of the cloud industry.

The issue of security

It’s also worth running the decision through the filter of security. Hackers fish where the fish are, which makes cloud hosts attractive targets. You’re not just outsourcing server configuration and the like. You’re trusting another company with your security. If security is a concern, you’re probably better off keeping your servers in-house, where you can tailor security to your needs.

6 Reasons why you should move to The Cloud

A new technology that’s all the rage with businesses big and small, heckling all other technology in recent years is the Cloud computing technology. Amidst all of the commotion about it, it’s easy to lose track of what the technology does and why it’s so important. The Cloud offers steeled reasons to why people are dredging through the ins and outs of the Cloud. Let’s take a second to step away from all the commotion and take a look at the key benefits that Cloud computing offers.


1.   Automation

Easily one of the Cloud’s biggest benefits. Businesses do not need to set up teams that handle system updates, back-ups, or on-site security, as all of these tasks are done by the Cloud supplier. Automating these tasks frees up internal resources, as well as your customers’ time.


2.   Security

Following in the footsteps of automated back-ups, businesses using Cloud-based services have a disaster recovery plan. Your valuable data is protected through redundancy, and what that means, is that your data is no longer on one, central server, it’s on multiple servers across the world. This means that there will always be a way to restore the information you’ve lost.

In smaller scale, should you lose a laptop or flash drive containing important data, your data can now be restored through the Cloud. Your data can be accessed no matter what happens to a machine, without ever having to physically back it up yourself.


3.   Flexibility

And because your data is stored on multiple servers across the world, naturally you can access work-related information from anywhere, at any time. As long as you have internet access, you can work from anywhere, offering flexibility to travelling employees or for top-talent that work far from your businesses headquarters.

Should you have multiple operations across multiple continents, you can be assured that the files saved and used in your North American servers can be accessed from your European servers, allowing intercontinental flexibility and collaboration.


4.   Increased Collaboration

Not only does it save time, Cloud technology increases employee collaboration. With all of your files in one, central location, everyone works off of one, central copy. Companies that don’t use the Cloud must send files back and forth through email, making corrections to important documents in rotation.

With the Cloud, your employees can jointly work on the same document –no matter where they are- whilst chatting and making changes together. Because the file can be worked on at the same time by multiple people, no duplications of the file become generated.


5.   No Complications

All of the nitty gritty is done by your service provider, meaning all you need to do is install the Cloud. No need for new, additional hardware or software, and implementation is done remotely. Should you unexpectedly need more bandwidth, Cloud service providers can instantly increase the capacity of their servers, offering you the ability to quickly meet business demands.


6.   Environmentally Friendly

Because you’re only using the server space you need, your carbon footprint decreases. Using the Cloud results in a minimum of 30% less energy consumption and carbon emissions than using on-site servers. For small companies, the benefit is astronomical. The cut in energy use and carbon emissions is, on average, 90%.


The Cloud is redefining the way businesses are ran and how IT services are delivered. Your move to the Cloud is no longer a question of “when” but “how.” At Prototype: IT, we offer Cloud services which oversee all aspects of Cloud adoption, from the desktop, to the server, to your applications. Make sure you have power over your data. Give your business the flexibility it needs while reducing your total cost of ownership. Learn more.