I heard a statistic recently from an industry expert that surprised me. He has over 30 years IT experience, having held positions of IT Director and CIO in numerous global organisations. He said:


 “Microsoft Azure have a server farm of 150,000 servers, it’s managed by 15 people. 5 Cleaners, 5 Security Guards, and 5 Systems staff”


Let me just say right now and up front – I am not a endorsing Microsoft, or Azure, and this is not about Azure vs AWS vs SoftLayer. Take away the Microsoft bit of it, and forget about it.

This got me thinking of my own experience in the industry and about my client’s IT landscape. Traditional IT has been focused around buying servers, networking, and storage. Housed in a big room or separate building, sometimes purpose built. In these rooms or buildings there are lots of big fans, smart air conditioning units and in some cases heaters too.

Then there are the army of techies who implement all of the above, know how it all goes together, keeping the lights on and managing the building or room. But from a risk and disaster recovery perspective you have to have a fail over plan – a back-up – a mirrored sight, so all of the above has to be repeated. In addition there is no point in having all of this infrastructure unless you have Software packages to actually run your business with.

So then you go and buy 100’s if not 1000’s of various software licenses – and put them on the servers (on both sites). Now you can run your business.

Does this picture look, sound, and feel familiar?


70% of all IT spend is traditionally spent on the data centre.


Let’s think about the original quote and the potential cost savings and this is true of any enterprise cloud provider.

  • No buying of physical servers
  • No buying of network switches and cables.
  • No buying of storage racks
  • No building of data centres
  • No building management costs
  • No army of techies
  • No on premise software costs
  • No mirrored doubling of costs


The world has changed – I can provision any or all server, storage, networking in the cloud. The cloud provider will employ the techies to manage the servers, I can get all of my software “as-a-Service”, I can start bringing in other external data sources and augmenting them with my internal reporting – Big Data as a Service and I can do most of this if not all of it with a commercial model with no upfront costs, and potential monthly billing.

So I guess my message to you is this look at how your organisation spends its IT budget. Are you still living in an “on-Prem” “Bricks & mortar” world? Why?

If it isn’t in your thinking already you should think about engaging some specialist partners who can form an ecosystem to take you on the inevitable journey to the Cloud and “as-a-service” world.

With the amount of disruptive technologies out there, the on-set of Internet of Things (IoT) and the demand for Big Data (BDaaS) and faster and better data analytics – the demand for BYOD and a mobile workforce,  the old physical model just doesn’t work from a cost perspective, or a flexibility perspective or serviceability perspective – Does it?

I believe that it’s the companies who will, and who already have embraced these new technologies who will reap the rewards of business in the future.

When are you going to become one of them?

May 25, 2016