Clarifying Cloud

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MicroTech president and CEO Tony Jimenez founded his company in 2004. Today, the IT solution provider is focused on Technology Services, unified communication and collaboration, cloud computing, product solutions, network systems integration, cyber security, mobility and social media solutions. The $343 million company employs more than 450 professionals supporting more than 100 prime contracts. Earlier this year, Jimenez was named the "Small Business Person of the Year" by the Small Business Council of America. Here, he discusses one of the biggest opportunities for VARs today: Cloud computing solutions. (MicroTech is #72 on the 2012 CRN Fast Growth list.)— Jennifer Bosavage, editor

Cloud is one of the biggest trends in IT today… that is no surprise to many. Gartner projects that the worldwide Cloud Solutions Market will be more than $148.8 billion by 2014. Surprisingly, however, only two things really seem certain.

First, despite the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) formal definition for government, it appears there is no common use of the term “cloud” in the market. In fact, it seems that cloud” is one of the most abused terms in the IT arena today. It is now used to reference almost everything IT! The Global Language Monitor named it as one of the two most confusing tech buzzwords so far this decade, along with “big data.”

[Related: How to Get Your Arms Around Big Data

Second, although everyone is “talking” about cloud computing, organizations are actually just now moving beyond the low hanging fruit of cloud: software as a service (SaaS). So, the real challenge is…“To Cloud or Not to Cloud!”

Why go to the cloud? The answer is pretty straight forward. “Doing more with less” is a way of life for both the public and private sectors. The automation delivered by IT service management solutions, for example, is playing a vital role in helping public sector IT organizations deliver more and better services for every taxpayer dollar they spend. Self-service portals and services enable employees to find answers, report issues and order services (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) on their own, thus reducing the burden on the IT service and support organizations and reducing cost.

Given the current economic situation, the public and Congress are increasingly demanding clear proof that all government investments, including IT, are delivering maximum value. It is incumbent on organizations —and all IT professionals in the public sector — to eliminate inefficiencies caused by poor asset utilization, fragmented demand for resources, duplicate systems, and environments that are too complex and costly to manage.

Other benefits of moving to the Cloud include, “greener” use of resources through decreased power consumption and HVAC requirements, greater flexibility and scalability, simplified acquisition processes, as well as lower-cost services and infrastructure. At MicroTech, we are focusing on service management processes and MicroKloud technology solutions that support those objectives.

MicroTech’s reading of the tea leaves is that private cloud, either on- or off-premise, will be the federal cloud strategy of choice moving forward. And, regardless of whether the cloud is on-premise or off-premise, private cloud providers will host agency applications and cloud services in both certified secure cloud infrastructures or in an agency’s own facilities.

Cloud remains an ever-evolving but proven IT strategy that can deliver significant savings when looking at the total cost of ownership. It is an integral component of MicroTech’s growth strategy going forward…so get ready…and reach for the clouds!

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