Managed Services

Remote Work Is Big. Why Not Remote Servers via Platform-as-a-Service?

John Huntoon

As the global business community navigated the COVID crisis, we saw a major shift in attitude toward remote work. A forced experiment with this new model pushed companies to address implementation challenges as fast as possible, finding solutions to issues that might have caused companies to hesitate about expanding remote work in normal times. 

Almost overnight, remote work went from a future-facing trend to a ground-level business reality. Of course, this model is not right for every situation (and the business community is already debating the long-term future of this trend). But whatever its limitations, expanded use of remote work is here to stay. If nothing else, it offers a new level of strategic flexibility and operational resilience to businesses large and small.

As we saw this year, this shift wasn’t simply about practical implementation challenges. Navigating this transition required a new mindset regarding what was possible with remote work.

We think many businesses would benefit from a similar mindset shift when it comes to moving their applications to third-party servers. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offers more flexible, cost-effective, and de-risked options than ever before. But a traditional mindset keeps far too many companies locked into IT management arrangements that are unnecessarily costly and cumbersome.

In this blog, we take a look at why.

What are the limitations of an onsite data center?

In short, managing IT infrastructure onsite takes more work. Why? Because best practices for managing business-critical infrastructure are more demanding than ever. 

Security, patching, and performance monitoring workflows all take time, require specialized expertise, and drive up costs. And most businesses don’t benefit from the economies of scale that help PaaS providers support this work much more cost-effectively. Finally, internal resources can become bogged down by this infrastructure management work, preventing them from focusing on the areas where they can add the most value.

What are the benefits of using a remote PaaS Provider?

PaaS providers benefit from substantial economies of scale that can allow them to support infrastructure with expert resources in every requisite field at a much lower cost than can be achieved by most internal IT departments. They can afford to build a highly secure environment and duplicate all utilities for a secure, redundant data center. They can also create a high availability (HA) geographically separate backup data center.

Why can a mindset shift help unlock the benefits of PaaS?

Why don’t more businesses leverage the economies of scale and specialized expertise that a PaaS provider can offer? In our experience, most executives are more than happy to discuss the prospect of getting out of the technology management business. But a traditional mindset can sometimes prevent companies from “making the leap” to a PaaS model that is almost certain to provide long-term benefits.

In a traditional mindset, being able to “see and touch” the server meant that it was safer, more reliable, and more secure. However comforting, this mindset is now outdated. As we saw in the wake of the COVID crisis, maintaining access to on-premise technology can itself become a real challenge (and thus, a real source of potential risk).

Of course, security and other concerns will still require some businesses to maintain servers onsite. There is no “one size fits all” model for IT infrastructure. As we saw with the rapid shift to remote work, however, some perceived business requirements are rooted more in habit than fact. Many businesses operated with the mindset that operations simply required key personnel to be on-premise. As businesses begin to overcome remote work growing pains, the value of this new approach becomes more and more apparent.

Notably, the technologies needed to support remote work (like quality video conferencing applications, reliable high-speed internet at more residences, etc.) were only one part of the picture. This basic cluster of technologies were already in place. Most businesses, however, saw them as useful tools, not ready for the “prime time” of supporting core operational workflows remotely. As it turned out, a mindset shift was the missing ingredient. The unprecedented disruption of 2020 forced the business community to recognize the viability of a model that had been widely discussed for years, but not yet widely adopted.

Picking the Right PaaS Provider for Your Business

When entrusting business-critical technology to a PaaS provider, selecting a high-quality partner is essential. 

PSGi has a deep well of experience helping businesses identify and execute the right long-term management strategy for business-critical applications and infrastructure. 

If you are interested in reaching out to learn more about how a PaaS MSP model can help your business, just click the button below.

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