To the same extent that we rely on the data which fuels our businesses, those business rely on the Information Technology (IT) systems which control that data. Perhaps more significantly, business absolutely depend on an all-important caretaker of these IT systems. As the cornerstone of many businesses, this trinity of (1) data, (2) systems, and (3) IT management must be available every single moment they are needed, in other words, seven days a week. (CDW 2010). In sum, where these three tools (data, systems, IT management) are a company’s lifeblood, those companies need access to them without excuse, and without exception. (CDW 2010).
However, achieving a comfortable level of reliability can be at odds with achieving an affordable level of reliability. This is especially a significant hurdle for smaller businesses. The cost of maintaining an IT staff can be oppressive. The spectrum can range from a single employee to manage all IT needs, to a part-time independent contractor limited to upkeep and problem-solving. Neither presents the ideal solution as there is too often a compromise of either reliability or affordability. Many enterprises are given the unenviable decision of not hiring the internal, skilled IT staff that can manage and repair a robust computing system, or hiring an expensive full-time employee to keep their systems up and running.
Cloud-computing and virtualization are at the heart of an outsourced IT infrastructure that can provide the solution to this perennial business dilemma. We will consider outsourced IT and its effect on cost control, hosted applications, data virtualization management, scalability, and disaster recovery, when considered against more a more traditional IT infrastructure.