Making information technology (IT) projects responsive to business needs has been a challenge since the earliest days of computers. Companies have turned to agile development methods to speed software development and to DevOps methods to improve operations. Now, businesses are turning to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to bring the same level of responsiveness to the infrastructure that underlies IT delivery.
Infrastructure as a Service uses the cloud to deliver infrastructure components, like CPU, RAM, storage, network, and more, on demand. Companies no longer experience delays in obtaining capacity due to a lengthy purchasing and provisioning cycle; the IaaS provider enables companies to access resources as needed on a self-service, pay-for-use basis.
- The benefits of IaaS. Companies benefit financially, as the pay-as-you-go model improves cash management and the on-demand model means there's no need to purchase spare capacity in advance of need; technically, as IT teams are freed from routine maintenance and support activities; and operationally, as the on-demand access to technology means new business opportunities aren't delayed due to lack of computer resources.
- Choosing the right IaaS provider. There are many providers offering IaaS, and companies need to make a careful evaluation to select a provider who offers the technology and services that the business needs. Selection criteria should include an evaluation of the costs, the technology, and the ability to meet business compliance regulations.
- Migrating to IaaS. Shifting to the IaaS infrastructure model is a major transition that needs careful planning, execution, and monitoring. The change doesn't affect only infrastructure, applications, and data; it also affects data center staff and other operational teams, developers, and end users.
- Going beyond IaaS. IaaS is just one of the "as a Service" models available. Before committing to IaaS, you should consider whether Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) will meet your needs better. There are many other specialized "aaS" offerings, including Disaster Recovery as a Service, Database as a Service, Identity Management as a Service, and more, which may solve your IT problems. You should also consider how you can leverage the full suite of services offered by a provider like Amazon Web Services, with dozens of tools to support development and business functions on demand.
Used effectively, Infrastructure as a Service can help companies save money, focus their technology teams on projects that add business value instead of routine maintenance, and help the business grow. Download the Guide to Infrastructure as a Service to prepare your organization to adopt to this dynamic model of leveraging IT to support business growth.