One of the most common additions to IT budgets of small and medium sized companies during 2011 was funding to explore or even implement some level of cloud computing. According to a TechTarget study that surveyed more than 500 North American businesses, almost three-fourths of them had included cloud computing in their IT budget, a sevenfold increase over the proportion that had done the same just one year prior. The average budget allocation for cloud computing was less than 10% of IT expenditures, with many businesses choosing to dip one toe into the water, so to speak, before they went ahead and took a major plunge into this exciting new paradigm for IT solutions.
Private Cloud First
The "one toe" strategy in many companies is taking the form of exploring a private cloud environment first. Such a strategy allows businesses to retain complete control of their own data. For many firms, data is the most important asset since it encompasses such things as customer preferences and contact information, data about prospective clients and the efforts made thus far to woo them, and proprietary facts and figures related to the health of the business or to new business plans currently in the works.
Of those businesses that have begun to experiment with private cloud architecture, many report that they are looking to automate processes more and incorporate more virtualization as time goes on. A managed services approach can help them achieve both goals while lowering costs and increasing business efficiencies.