LAUNCH IT. An Overview of Cloud Computing

The Situation | The Challenges | The Solution | The Benefits

The Situation

You're stuck between a rock and a hard place

Your organization is looking to IT for innovative solutions that drive competitive advantage. But it also is asking you to do it with less money. You need a flexible solution. Something scalable, cost-efficient, and easy to deploy.

The cloud can provide your organization with the flexibility you need. It provides you an agile and scalable IT environment with low upfront costs and minimal infrastructure investment. Plus, it gives your organization the ability to sample providers before committing resources.

The Challenges

Unfamiliarity with and misconceptions about the cloud are major obstacles to adoption. Many organizations simply don't have enough education and experience with the benefits of the cloud to understand how it helps make your IT environment more flexible. In addition, there may be a sense that your IT department doesn't have the resources to implement such sweeping innovation.

The most common challenges fall into one of these categories:

Resource Issues

Increasing budget cuts to IT departments are decreasing the time and personnel you can dedicate to cloud initiatives. This creates concerns that you might not have the resources to maximize a cloud investment.

Knowledge Issues

With so few organizations having experience with cloud solutions, it's understandable why they are hesitant to adopt. There's fear that IT departments lack the training to administer a cloud solution, plus there's confusion as to where to turn for impartial information about which solution would be best.

Busting Cloud Myths

The Cloud Compromises Security.

False. Cloud providers are required to utilize advanced, enterprise-level servers employing best-in-class technologies to ensure high levels of uptime. They must also incorporate security infrastructure (ISO/ISE 27001 and SA S 70) with regular updates—meaning, you often have better security with the cloud.

49% of enterprise data centers experienced targeted malware/botnet activity as opposed to 5% of cloud-hosting providers. 2

Cloud Deployment is Complicated.

False. Cloud computing can sometimes be deployed for your organization in minutes. Providers have existing applications and infrastructure in place on their servers eliminating the need for in-house software and/or hardware installation.

Cloud Computing Takes Away Control.

False. While application and process customization may be different in the cloud, there are some ways it is superior. Vendors measure user activity to look for ways to improve applications and processes. The results are frequent upgrades to functionality at no incremental cost to you.

The Solution

Your organization needs flexibility to meet today's challenges. Public cloud computing offers several options that provide you with adaptability, scalability, and cost-efficiency:

Software as a Service (SaaS)

With a SaaS solution, your service provider hosts applications. Your users will access these apps through a browser or mobile app, so you don't have to spend time and money installing apps on devices. Beyond deployment advantages, SaaS provides user scalability allowing you to rapidly increase or decrease deployment based on your needs.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS reduces your total infrastructure costs by providing you with a pool of virtual machines hosted offsite. This allows you to scale servers, storage, networking, load balancing, etc. to your needs and helps reduce your capital IT investment expenditures.

Platform as a Service (Paas)

PaaS serves as a hybrid option between SaaS and IaaS. You get the IT infrastructure needed for hosting applications and the development tools and environment to build and deploy cloud applications. Typically, a PaaS consists of an OS, a programming language environment, a database, and a web server. These setups are ideal for organizations that want to forgo the costs of buying and managing any of the underlying hardware and/or software.

The Benefits

The flexibility of cloud computing into your IT environment comes with several benefits.

25% Expected savings from IT budget with cloud computing over 4 years 3

Maximize Resources with Minimal Investment

  • Predictable budgets—Change IT budget from expensive upfront costs to lower monthly charges.
  • Reduced infrastructure costs—Eliminate the need for a large amount of in-house infrastructure thus lowering the drain on budget and IT support.
  • Lower operational costs—Maintenance, personnel, updates, and infrastructure upgrades are handled by your vendor freeing up budgets for other IT initiatives.
  • Freedom from commitment—Most vendors operate on a pay-as-you-go model. So you can quickly and easily switch to alternate vendors if you find a better fit.

Drive Competitive Advantage

  • Faster speed to market—Become more agile and responsive to customer needs with improved workflow and the ability to rapidly prototype.
  • Drives innovation—Cloud computing drives innovation in two ways: (1) Customer value proposition. Enhance current products and/or services to improve the overall customer experience. (2) Value chain. Gain flexibility in operating capabilities so you can change your role within the market rapidly or create a new value chain for consumers.
  • Reduces barriers to entry—Lower overall infrastructure costs and reduce the need for large onsite data centers.
  • Closer connection to resources—Maximize the ability to operate remotely by making data and applications accessible from any device and any location.

Maximize Flexibility

  • Deployment flexibility—Deploy at your speed and comfort level.
  • Scale flexibility—Rapidly and fluidly scale up or down to meet your organization's needs. Pay only for what you use.
  • Future flexibility—Adapt to new technology as it is introduced.

Our Partners

Our cloud solutions include a variety of top vendors that can provide you with the leading services across all levels of cloud computing.

Microsoft® Office 365® brings together cloud versions of the most trusted Microsoft Office Web Apps with a set of easy-to-use, web-enabled tools that work with existing hardware and are backed by robust security, reliability, and control.

Symantec™ Email combines advanced email antivirus, antispam, and content filtering capabilities in an easy-to-manage solution that requires no onsite hardware or software. Part of an integrated approach to securing and managing email, web, and instant messaging traffic, Email includes an SLA that offers 100% protection against known and unknown viruses and a 99% spam capture rate. (95% for email with double-byte characters.)

Offsite storage of backups is critical to surviving a catastrophic loss of data. Veeam Backup & Replication™ Cloud Edition turns every leading public storage cloud into an easy-to-use data repository for your backups. With support for 15 leading public storage clouds, Veeam Backup & Replication lets you use the best cloud provider for your needs and makes adding offsite backup to the cloud easy without the need to understand how cloud storage APIs work or redesign your local backup processes.

Visit our Cloud Solutions page or call 800.808.4239 to learn more about how cloud computing can give your organization the agility to innovate.

1 IBM Executive Report: "The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation,", 2012 2 AlertLogic Study Report: "Targeted Attacks and Opportunistic Hacks: The State of Cloud Security Report,", 2013 3 CDW Report: "Silver Linings and Surprises: CDW's 2013 State of the Cloud Report,", 2013

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The People

Our dedicated account managers understand the cloud landscape. They can help guide you to the right solution and vendor for your needs. Plus, our experienced solution architects provide support and will help you implement your solution or give you more detailed insight into various cloud offerings.

The Service

We have a comprehensive cloud offering that covers SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. The recommendations we provide are vendor- neutral to help you get the right solution for your specific needs — no matter who offers it.

The Plan

At CDW, we can help you through every stage of your transition to the cloud. We provide an initial discovery session, an assessment review, and detailed vendor evaluations. Then we offer recommendations and assist with procurement, configuration, and deployment. Plus, we provide ongoing support.

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