Changing Business Models: Effectively Utilizing Infrastructure as a Service
Infrastructure, as an abstract concept, is something that all businesses realize they need, but have often assumed is something they can create entirely on their own or something that will simply be developed “with time”. However—particularly in the world of information technology—the concept of utilizing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) has emerged as a fundamental component of the business process. Improvements in infrastructure can often create a greater competitive advantage than any other part of a business. Consequently, many businesses who have utilized Iaas have seen both reductions in overall costs and increases in organizational effectiveness.
Why is developing infrastructure important?
Infrastructure is what enables the components of a given IT system to work as efficiently as possible. If the company is willing to invest in network products (such as the use of a cloud system), but the company is unwilling to assure these products are being utilized in an efficient way, then the initial investment will have been for nothing. In particular, when a company is using a consumption based technology—which is reliant upon a path between an end “consumer” and an original “producer”—the company needs to assure that this path is one that can operate as fluidly as possible.
Companies can utilize their network and software provider in two notable ways: through the VAR Model and through the SP Model.
The VAR Model
The VAR (Value Added Reseller) Model introduces a provider that functions as a software, hardware, and networking middleman but—unlike the term middleman might imply—the provider is someone creates additional value along the way. In the world of information technology, a VAR does more than just simply supply the necessary ingredients for a business to function; it can provide the infrastructure that is necessary for the given product to function at its full capacity.
Potential value that the VAR Model can produce for a company who seeks to develop its infrastructure includes:
- Comprehensive costs-benefit analysis that can find ways to save long-term capital
- Analysis that finds the bottlenecks and hold-ups in a company’s IT network
- Preparing the company to expand its current IT operations or enable the company to transition to a different type of network
- Assuring efficiency with consumption based technology (producer-consumer pipeline)
The SP Model
The SP Model (service provider) is similar to the VAR Model in the sense that value is added by an active intermediary, but more specifically, the supplier is also utilized as a service provider, and helps the company with things such as maintenance, diagnosis, and hosting. This is important for a company that wants to gain a competitive advantage through the implementation of automated usage controls (setting things up to run themselves). While increased infrastructure control can empower the end user to design a management platform that will consistently work per their specific needs, the simultaneous use of automated usage controls can help enable the company to avoid unplanned financial risks.
Ultimately, it seems that the importance of a company using their network provider as a resource that can help them better develop their infrastructure is something whose importance cannot be overstated. If a company’s goal is to increase their share of their current market and gain a competitive advantage by developing superior infrastructure, then it is important for them to fully utilize the resources they have available. The future of information technology and data storage, it seems, is something that will be all about efficient collaboration.
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