In the following blog post, the people are make-believe, but their situation is real.

Dear Mr. CIO,

As you know, I have worked for ABC Company for the last 14 years. In this time, I have given my blood sweat and tears to this company with very little vacation time. Besides a day off here and there, you’ll find me with my ear in my phone and my face in my laptop the whole time.

I haven’t taken a consecutive week off since 2005. I would like to do so in 2015. However, I am in fear of losing my job because of the things that could go wrong for the company when I am out. Because of my fear, I propose that we consider one or a combination of the following cloud computing solutions that could possibly not only help me out but our company as well.

Move our office productivity to the cloud – It is evident that the servers hosting our Exchange environment keep me the busiest. This is one of our most important applications. We are constantly worried about storage capacity for our archival emails. I even recall our last disc array implementation project overlapping Thanksgiving because of the shipment arriving late. It is time to give Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps a serious look. These cloud productivity suites guarantee uptime and can be bundled with archiving services, preventing me from missing holiday dinners.

Invest in IaaS for some or all of our applications – It has already been highlighted above that moving an application like Exchange to the cloud would save a lot of time. What if we moved some of our other legacy applications to the cloud? We could look into public cloud and hosted private cloud options, with the goal of creating a hybrid environment.

Some of our older applications sit on old hardware and were ready for refresh yesterday. Instead of continuing to Band-Aid these servers, we should gather IaaS proposals as well as the traditional hardware quotes.

Offload some of the day-to-day management – The last time I was on vacation, Microsoft released a number of updates and patches to their server software. I spent hours on the phone directing our system admins on which servers could be restarted through these patch updates. In addition to us considering IaaS, we should also be asking these providers about their managed services.

These providers can manage our cloud instances that are in their data center. They can also remotely manage our on-premises gear, and some can even manage public cloud instances that we may want to have with other providers. The provider would implement these patch updates for my team while adhering to an SLA, allowing the admins to focus on their primary job functions.

Selfishly, I would like to see us evaluate some of these services. This would allow me to feel more comfortable when I am away from the office, allowing me to spend quality time with my family. At the end of the day, there could be some significant value that our company could obtain. We need to focus on the core of our business rather than worrying about break/fix issues all the time.

IT Director

Tune in next time for the CIO response.