Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Business Value of SQL Server Data Services

In my second video of a planned series of videos (number yet to be determined), I interviewed Tudor Toma, Group Program Manager and Soumitra Sengupta, SSDS Architect about the business value of SSDS.

Watch the Video

One point that I want to emphasize is that from a business perspective, SSDS tackles two of the biggest pain points that companies have to deal with today when creating new IT systems:  capital expenditures (CapEx) and operational expenditures (OpEx).  Beyond just the dollar cost of how much software costs to create, you need to think about how much hardware or hosting will cost.  You have to plan capacity and guess the load the system will generate.  Next, you have to figure out how many support personnel will be required to maintain the system.  Someone has to maintain the software, repair machines when they go down, defrag, patch, update, etc.

One of the greatest business values (as opposed to technical values) you get from SSDS (and cloud services in general) is the ability to redeploy the capital to other resources.  In the case of CapEx, you can deploy this perhaps to marketing or content creation.  In the case of OpEx, those expenses can be redeployed to more useful tasks in the enterprise (creating new systems, upgrading, and expanding operations perhaps?).  While there are opportunities to just save this money, I think more realistically the money is going to get spent on the other things that you wished you had time and resources for.

I think the value is easy to understand from a startup's perspective.  But even enterprise users should be thinking about this.  Big budget IT programs could easily be switched out to cloud services at a fraction of the cost to build out the support and infrastructure needs.  Money that would otherwise be spent for disaster recovery (you do DR planning, right?) can be re-purposed or saved.  The days of multi-million dollar new IT investments are numbered in a lot of cases in my opinion.  I can still see a few cases where it would be necessary depending on a companies core value proposition, but for a majority, it just doesn't make sense.