blog The shift to cloud computing/software as a service models in Australian enterprise IT circles is endless, it appears. Yesterday it was retailer Dick Smith switching to Google Apps, and today it’s medical recruiter Healthcare Australia switching off an in-house version of Microsoft Exchange and onto Office 365. A Microsoft case study details:
Medical recruiter, Healthcare Australia wanted new email and collaboration tools without having to buy, deploy and maintain server infrastructure. In 2012, the firm signed up to Microsoft Office 365, installing Microsoft Lync and SharePoint clients on all desktops connected to cloud-based Exchange servers managed by Microsoft. The firm saved AUD$300,000 on installation and licencing costs, employees enjoy cutting-edge communications, while their IT is more secure and easier to maintain.
“The problem with having our own email server is that you need an Exchange specialist on site, to enforce archiving, maintain security, deploy updates and ensure we have the appropriate disaster recovery plans,” says Mark Botros, Chief Information Officer, Healthcare Australia. “This resource costs A$100–$120,000 a year—an expensive resource we could do without.”
My opinion is that email, unified communications, intranet and other bog standard enterprise IT services are just the most obvious candidates — the tip of the iceberg, if you will — for the ongoing shift to SaaS applications. We’re already seeing CRM and ERP moves into the cloud in some scenarios, and I expect we’ll increasingly see other applications as well. One wonders just what Australian IT departments will, in fact, look like in a decade or so. Will there be any in-house IT infrastructure at all?