Virtualization Empowers SMBs With Modernized Tech Solutions

You don't have to be a giant in your industry to leverage IT solutions that pack an enterprise-grade punch. That's because today's tech is engineered to level the playing field and offer smaller organizations the chance to step into the arena with more established rivals.

Reduced cost, more options

What's allowing underdog firms to take on the big names in their sectors? According to Channel Partners Online, reasons behind the shift can be boiled down to the reduced cost and heightened availability of powerful tech tools. The source cited technologies as leading forces in the market, pointing to big data, mobile device management and hosted security solutions as prominent trends.

Of course, cloud is at the forefront of this overall movement, serving as the primary delivery method for these major services. Off-premise solutions are driving a massive portion of the tech market and will only continue to expand as more specialized applications make their way into the picture.

"Cloud computing offers SMBs the opportunity to enhance or improve IT capabilities in a way they previously could not," said McKinsey and Co. in a recent report on the IT sector, as noted by the source.

Opportunities to innovate

While some decision-makers remain under the impression that technology such as cloud limits a firm's control of its IT assets, that myth has long been debunked. In fact, a strong argument could be made in the other direction - software-defined networking provides greater visibility into an organization's infrastructure than many legacy systems could provide. For example, the addition of virtual machines alone lets you tap into processing resources that previously collected dust, putting server power back in your hands where it belongs.

Upgrading your systems also lets you explore and deploy the innovative strategies seen in the upper echelons of the corporate world, allowing your firm to be more competitive than ever before. With the tools and the confidence to launch outside-the-box initiatives, the sky is the limit - especially with the rapid scalability that virtualization offers.

"Emerging technologies have truly become the great leveler," said Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle, according to Channel Partners Online.

Partnerships for the future

It is important to recognize that although today's tech has transformative potential, it won't turn your business around in a heartbeat, Forbes noted. The research, selection and implementation processes are crucial in ensuring that projects hit the ground running and navigate some of the common roadblocks that keep initiatives from taking off. For example, you need to consider which mission-critical applications deserve a private cloud setting while determining the assets that must be placed in a public cloud environment.

"Some of the marketing around cloud has suggested that it's as easy as waving a magic wand, which isn't the case," said EMA analyst Dennis Drogseth, according to the source. "Performance is very much a shared requirement between the cloud provider and the IT service team."

Set the bar high for cloud

Decisions regarding bandwidth, storage capacity and SLAs often demand the guidance of an expert service provider that knows the lay of the land when it comes to modern IT. Not just any company will do, however - Forbes explained that the ideal cloud vendor must meet certain criteria if you are to really consider a migration. That means prioritizing cyber security, support and forward-thinking strategy.

Look at every potential service provider as a long-term business alliance - properly leveraging cloud services demands that you stay in close partnership with the provider you select. Be sure to scrutinize your options and select a provider that will work with you toward critical objectives