The business case
The reasons for adopting could services are often very specific. For the property company Savills, it was about commoditising certain backend functions, particularly disaster recovery.
Infrastructure manager, Justin Gillfeather, says Savills is trialling Optus’ cloud service. By connecting across the Optus network he does not have to risk reaching out to public services.
“We expect it will take some load off our internal IT department,” Gillfeather says. “Especially things like disaster recovery — that all becomes somebody else’s problem.
“The reason we are in beta is to find out whether it is going to be cost effective for us to do this, whether it is really going to save us as much money as we thought, and the degree of flexibility it will really give us.”
Gillfeather says Savills is currently geared towards acquiring other businesses, which means potentially needing resources at short notice.
“If we had cloud running we might be able to do that far more easily than we are currently able to,” Gillfeather says. “If we can buy those resources from somebody else and know upfront how much it is going to cost, that allows us to do longer-term planning that we are otherwise able to.
“If we were starting a brand new business tomorrow would I buy any server hardware at all? At the moment I would, but two or three years from now, maybe not.”
Australian surfwear retailer City Beach certainly isn’t keen to spend the money to find out. When it came to upgrading from a static Web page to a full e-commerce service based on WebSphere Commerce, it opted to host it on Brennan IT’s infrastructure-as-a-service platform. City Beach is Australia’s largest independent retailer of surf, skate and urban wear, with 60 stores nationwide and a turnover of about $300 million. CIO, Paul Downs, says that hosting with Brennan was more cost effective than what he could achieve himself, and it enabled the company to deploy its site in less than 100 days in the lead-up to a Christmas deadline.
“I have quite a lean-team here, so my strategy is to outsource as much as possible, because we just don’t have the resources to provide 24 by 7 monitoring and break-fix,” Downs says. “When you stack up the cost of the wrap-around services versus the cost if I had to employ two or three people to provide the coverage over a year, it’s significantly cheaper, and Brennan places an SLA around it.”
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