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More Important Than Ever , IT Finds a New , More Appropriate Home

In-house Information Technology, many experts believe, is on its way out. Even such relatively reserved and conservative analysts as Gartner can be found claiming that internal IT spending may already be in decline, even while IT assets become increasingly important to businesses in every industry.

None of this means, of course, that IT is going away. Instead, Information Technology services that the conventional wisdom once made internal are now increasingly supplied by specialized second parties. These providers of cloud services, it turns out, can leverage economies of scale and greater mission focus to deliver a lot for very little in the way of money.

It is not always clear, though, how best to take advantage of these new opportunities. In fact, there are a few particularly productive paths toward becoming attached to the cloud, and some of them routinely deliver especially impressive rewards.

One very easy and gratifying way to get started, for example, is to get rid of an internal Microsoft Exchange server and replace it with server hosting services. Configuring, maintaining, and updating this critical piece of email server software is often one of the most expensive line items in an IT budget, so this is a particularly promising avenue for improvement. Many who make the transition to cloud-hosted Exchange services, in fact, discover that the rewards are so great that they cannot wait to discover what else is available.

One of these further options is the use of remote Private Virtual Servers instead of local, actual ones. Once again, updating and maintaining on-site server hardware can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming, while the cloud alternatives are often much easier to live with. For companies that make heavy use of powerful database servers, for example, switching to cloud-provided virtual equivalents can allow for easy, economical, demand-based scaling. That can result in much lower IT bills and a more reliable experience, in the end.

There are a whole further range of Custom Cloud Solutions that can be just as gratifying. Many companies, for example, are discovering that replacing local application installations with apps that are provided by remote servers can be an excellent upgrade.

One leading Cloud Desktop for QuickBooks, for example, promises both lower costs and far more in the way of power to users, and the service's popularity seems to indicate that this is no idle boast. With so many attractive ways of doing away with the IT arrangements of yesterday, then, the most important thing seems to be to get started.

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