Putting together a jigsaw puzzle is an act of patience, perseverance, and strategy. You start with a goal in mind. You have a plan of attack, and if you intend to finish, and you stick with it. When it’s done right, the pieces work together; there are no extras lying around, and there are no gaps in the resulting image.

If cloud is or should be part of your IT delivery, shouldn’t you approach it in much the same way? I would imagine that you’d want to have an end-state in mind with interlocking and complementary pieces. At a working level, this could mean a federated infrastructure where public and private cloud, dedicated and shared infrastructure fit together. At a higher level, this could mean (as marketers might say…) an “integrated, end-to-end solution” that includes core networking, infrastructure (cloud or otherwise), applications and endpoints. In either case, your goal is to forge ahead with patience, perseverance, and strategy.

As you put together your cloud solution, here’s some food for thought: Recently, in a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of AT&T, 155 enterprise IT professionals were asked how they are buying cloud services and what benefits they’re seeing from these solutions. The study found that IT executives who buy cloud services as part of a collection of services from a managed service provider realize:

  • Greater operational efficiencies

Managed service providers help buyers work through inconsistencies in services and reduce the burden on internal IT staff.

  • Cost savings

Yes, we’ve heard this about cloud before. But, the respondents to the survey indicated that cloud services are less expensive through a managed services provider than a pure-play cloud provider. Why? Managed services providers modify, integrate, and operate the cloud services as part of their offerings – tasks that would normally cost organizations far more to do themselves.

  • Additive benefits

Survey respondents shared that, as they added services to their portfolios, the benefits increased. The more they bought, the greater the value provided by the managed services provider.

Who could say no to those kinds of benefits?

In many ways, your IT infrastructure is your mousetrap. It works the way you need it to, but you’re probably focused on how you might make it better. Are you working with cloud to make it better/more efficient/less expensive?