As companies grow, their technology needs expand with them. Decision-makers have their work cut out when it’s time to choose new IT solutions, and where and how to store your data is one of the biggest considerations an IT executive must make.

Consolidating servers using virtualization technology and migrating data and applications to the cloud are both options for companies to take advantage of as they increase their computing power and need to improve functionality. But, how do you know which option is the correct one for your specific business needs?

Managing your own virtualized infrastructure

Server virtualization has been touted for its usefulness in consolidating IT environments and making computing portfolios easier to manage. According to a study published by TechNavio in October 2014, the market for server virtualization and related services was projected to grow at a compound annual rate of around 28.1 percent over the forecast period from 2014 to 2018, indicating a clear demand for these kinds of capabilities.

When should you consider server virtualization? In the data center environment, consolidating servers into fewer pieces of physical equipment elicits a number of benefits. TechRepublic named reduced hardware cost, fewer hot spots and streamlined data backups as top advantages of deploying virtual machines in the data center. When you’re managing your own VMs, you also have the distinct benefit of not being locked in to a specific vendor, which is one potential issue with the cloud.

Virtualizing your IT infrastructure can be an important way to consolidate servers and cut costs.Virtualizing your IT infrastructure can be an important way to consolidate servers and cut costs.

When should you outsource to the cloud?

TechTarget noted that enterprise cloud computing can help companies lower operational expenses and further enhance collaboration with business partners. Indeed, Verizon’s recent 2016 State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud report found that 88 percent of IT executives surveyed said the cloud improves responsiveness to business needs, and 65 percent of respondents said it gives a boost to operations in general.

“The cloud improves responsiveness to business needs.”

Cloud storage services negate the need for you to operate your own server room to house all of your company’s data. By outsourcing this function to a cloud provider, it potentially frees up your IT team for other important tasks and can thus enhance the level of productivity in your tech department.

No matter which computing solution you choose, you should consult IT professionals before deploying your environments. Contact the cloud and virtualization experts at ISG Technology for more information about how we can pair you with the correct cloud solution for your specific business needs.