As MPs and peers consider a potential £4bn move out of the Houses of Parliament while restoration work is carried out, those who work in the IT department of the iconic building will be busy contemplating how to keep their online services up and running.
Not all businesses have the luxury (or expense) of owning the building in which their teams are located. While a major IT move can have less impact for smaller more remote offices it can be a major headache for a global headquarters or large office. Most of these offices will have vital IT solutions hosted to enable the business to function as desired. Moving can be a high cost exercise because of the need to:
- Plan a logical office move
- Migrate the IT services smoothly
- Enable the business to continue to function
Unfortunately, there is no one thing you can do to mitigate the effect of the actual office move but when it comes to the IT solutions, public cloud services can help. Many services offered by public cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure can be made accessible via the internet or a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This might seem obvious but huge numbers of businesses are still locked into legacy hosting and this means they are heavily restricted in what they can do. We have been helping a number of clients move to Software as a Service (SaaS) based solutions so their users can continue to connect into their IT services from any location. With SaaS there is no need for a physical location.
It is not possible to use a SaaS approach for all applications of course but with new secure services available such as point-to-site VPNs as a service, users with the correct device, trusted certificate, user name and password can connect to the client’s remote services in their public cloud. This allows traditional infrastructure to be hosted in public cloud offerings while making use of SaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS). With this mixture of services there is no need to have physical infrastructure at each site.
Any large office move is likely to impact on the integration of an organisation’s networking services. Best practice here due to the limitations that are likely to arise is to have a remote cache on your larger sites in order to distribute data transparently if you are using public cloud services. This is more to ensure performance and reduce the impact of the move. It would allow the business to continue to function, albeit at a slower pace than usual.
So, when contemplating a large office IT move, it is best to think nimble. Investigate what it would mean to your business to move your current infrastructure model to a public cloud service and migrate some applications to PaaS and SaaS solutions.
At a time when corporate networks are becoming more geographically dispersed, public cloud services can ensure your business continues to meet the digital demands of today.
By Marc Esmiley, Director of Cloud Services, SystemsUp.
SystemsUp has helped many businesses and public sector organisations migrate their IT services to the public cloud. To find out more about what we do please click here.