By Greg Walker, Business Development Manager, Cloud, Dimension Data Canada
According to Calgary Economic Development, the third largest oil reserves in the world (behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia) lie in Calgary. With millions of dollars in international investment, the current crisis hitting the energy sector in Calgary is no small issue, and some are predicting that this could last another three years. The oversupply of oil has driven prices down and oil and gas companies are scrambling to meet revenue goals. As a result, the need for more efficiency in the industry has increased exponentially.
Although tightening budgets and reducing staff expenses to stay afloat may be a quick, short-term fix, it won’t make the problem go away. So, how can these companies stay nimble and boost effectiveness even when their capital budgets are drastically reduced? The secret may lie in the Cloud. Oil and gas companies can get creative with their use of operational budgets by embracing cloud computing and managed services to improve efficiency and agility in this volatile market. Cloud computing is a more efficient and effective way to manage IT resources within an organization for five main reasons:
- Quickly scale resources up or down – With usage-based billing, companies pay only for what they use. Organizations can choose to scale back their IT resources in a volatile market and then scale them back up once the market has stabilized. In this way, companies have more control over how they spend their IT budget and they can continue to use the technology most needed to support critical business functions.
- Maintain a manageable balance between CapEx and OpEx – As public cloud computing is essentially a pay-as-you-go service, companies can reduce or eliminate capital costs associated with hardware purchases and maintenance costs, freeing up capital budgets for other purposes. And since the cloud is operated by a service provider at a large scale, companies can realize overall reduced operating expenses as well.
- Deliver new infrastructure services on-demand – In order to stay innovative and nimble in a constantly changing and competitive market, organizations need to reinvent their business and operating models. Cloud computing allows IT and business units to spin up additional infrastructure as needed, whether for test and development or the launch of a new customer service. And it can all be delivered on-demand and at a reasonable cost through the managed services provider.
- Offering the accommodation of flexible, more mobile styles of working – When companies face a sudden need to reduce costs, giving their employees the flexibility to work from home and reduce overhead costs can be a great option. Cloud computing provides remote workers with access to the business critical applications they need while maintaining the collaborative feel of being in a central office. In this way, organizations can reduce overhead costs and keep up productivity.
Even though Calgary’s energy companies are faced with reduced cash flow, these firms must all keep up with the latest technology advancements to remain competitive. By relying more on technologies such as cloud computing and managed services, businesses may see some reprieve in their capital costs and budgets.
Greg Walker is cloud business development manager for global IT services provider Dimension Data in Canada. Walker has spent the last 25 years in the world of IT Infrastructure. Along the way, he has helped clients evolve from one IT Service Delivery model to another, from Mainframe to Client-Server, to Virtualized, and now to Cloud Computing and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). Since 2008 he has devoted himself to Business Development and building Data Center and Cloud practices for a number of organizations, and is now responsible for leading the growth of the Cloud business for Dimension Data in Canada.
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