What are the available IT services delivery models for SMEs?

It is difficult for the small and medium enterprises (SME) to adopt latest advancements in technology that always put them on a disadvantageous position when compared to bigger ones. SMEs cannot continue to invest in technology updates as newer technologies comes up every day.

Hiring the services of IT process management providers can help SME’s to keep in pace with the changing technology. However, firms need to be aware of possible IT services delivery options available in the BPM world to choose and implement.

What are the IT service delivery options available for SMEs?

  1. Shared datacenter facility:

    Here the BPM provider provides shared datacenter infrastructure where the SMEs can store all their IT equipments and so the ownership and responsibility of the equipments will remain with the SMEs.

    Even if SMEs avail this option they have to maintain IT expertise in house to create a suitable IT architecture. However, the BPM providers will provide an infrastructure facility to house the desired IT equipments. Under this option, the service provider also offer power distribution, Uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), cooling and internet connectivity services. The major players in the field of providing shared datacenter facility are Euqinix, Savvis and Telehouse.

  2. Hosted model.

    This is similar to the shared datacenter facility, but under this option, the service providers also offer IT equipments along with infrastructure facility.  The hosting model comes in several forms and the most popular form is cloud based model. However, for the SMEs, the IT process management service provider rent IT equipment which includes an operating system such as Windows or Linux. The SMEs can load the desired software application into the equipment.

    In this model, the service provider takes up the responsibility of facility, equipment and operating system. The key providers in the field are Memset and Rackspace.

  3. Cloud options:

    A cloud option comes in three forms:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    Here the service provider offers IT infrastructure facility virtually. This is similar to the physical hosted model, where the service provider offers IT resources over a network. The SMEs will have lot of storage space and the service can also be expanded.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    Under this option, the service provider offer IT resource as well as operating system over a network. This provides the flexibility for the SMEs to expand their capabilities and grow.

  • Software as a Service

    Under this option, the service provider offers all the facilities including infrastructure facility, equipment, operating system and application software stack over a network.

    The main providers of cloud based services are salesforce.com, Concur and Transversal.

However it’s advisable to go for a hybrid option for SMEs. It is wise to keep some IT operations under the shared datacenter facility option and some under the cloud option.  The crucial part is getting the mix right and once the mix is identified, then the SME can move to the next level of finding the right service provider.

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