However, theres no reason an IT department cant continue to thrive. In fact a recent study by UK IT Placement firm CW Jobs concluded that more IT jobs are likely to be created as a result of the rise of cloud computing services such as managed hosting. 75% of the 1300 IT professionals questioned thought that cloud computing skills would make them more employable. If your company does invest in cloud hosting, it is true that the nature of your IT department will probably change. This does not need to be a negative thing though. In fact it can be an exciting opportunity to move the department into the forefront of developing your business and driving revenue.
In many companies the IT department tends to fill a largely maintenance-based role - ensuring that everything is running smoothly so that your work can be done quickly and effectively. However, spending so much time just keeping things ticking over doesnt add a great deal of value to your business, particularly if its eating up a lot of man hours. Replacing your in-house data centre with managed hosting will free up your IT team to engage in more strategically innovative projects.
Managed hosting and cloud computing services are a fantastic way to cut down on your server overheads and enjoy secure, flexible data storage that reflects the evolution of your business. But if your company already has a dedicated IT department, you may find yourself questioning how their work ties in with cloud solutions. If you work for or run an IT department you might even be concerned that managed hosting could render your services obsolete.
It may be the case that the best use of your IT department is to re-deploy them to other areas of your business. This does not mean demoting them or forcing them away from the career path they have chosen. Offer them training opportunities that allow them to add new skills that you can use in your business - such as SEO, development and graphic design. As more and more businesses come to rely on a strong online presence, having a team that can handle the various aspects of digital marketing is an invaluable asset. You may also find it useful to have one or two IT-savvy members of staff who can operate as liaisons between your internal teams and new service providers.
Remember that utilising managed hosting solutions is not an all or nothing decision. You may have certain aspects of your business that you prefer to keep in-house. This means youll still need an IT team to manage your internal servers, but by outsourcing other applications youre cutting down on the time they have to spend on this - and the amount of cash you have to spend to facilitate it.
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