Infrastructure as a Service – the benefits for the public sector
Like most industries, public sector organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce costs and streamline operations. As a result, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is now becoming an increasingly relevant and viable option for public sector IT managers.
IaaS provides familiar computing resources – such as vms, servers, storage, networks, applications and services – which can be provisioned and managed to suit changing business requirements over time on a pay per use model. The new generation of IaaS provision can deploy a physical infrastructure hosted either on-site or at their trusted IT provider’s data centre. This development is encouraging more public-sector IT managers to take another look at this once overlooked option.
IaaS is a consumption-based model where organisations pay only for what they use, thereby avoiding large fixed monthly or annual fees for services they may not use. It is the natural progression for an organisation who sees a benefit of not investing all their budget on new IT infrastructure on day one, without a chance of seeing the full benefit realised until day 1000.
IaaS is a good fit for organisations that recognise the benefit of spreading the cost of IT over time. By shifting IT infrastructure spend from capital expenditure to monthly operational costs, organisations get greater stability and visibility on their IT costs.
Another key benefit of IaaS is the ability to scale up and down quickly in response to a public sector organisation’s requirements. This on-demand scalability provides added flexibility and greater agility to respond to changing opportunities and requirements.
With cyber attacks targeting critical public services never far from the headlines, business continuity is high on the agenda across the public sector. Organisations will often have several disparate locations with different technologies, disaster recovery and business continuity plans, making management very difficult. IaaS facilitates a consolidated disaster recovery approach, reducing costs, improving manageability and maximising system up-time for employees from wherever they happen to be.
IaaS frees the in-house team from the day to day burden of managing and maintaining IT infrastructure to focus on looking at how the current world of IT can help and improve their organisation. The IaaS model also means that organisations can refresh systems more quickly and upgrade to new technologies more easily. IaaS providers generally have the latest, most powerful storage, servers and networking technology to accommodate the needs of their customers.
Public sector organisations seeking to futureproof their IT infrastructure in an ever-changing marketplace where expenditure is closely scrutinised are turning to IaaS in increasing numbers. A ‘cloud first’ offering, IaaS has now matured into a viable option for public sector IT teams to consider when developing a sustainable, stable, secure and scalable future IT strategy.