West Corporation

Posted on March 18, 2013 by West Corporation 



Supporting IT Infrastructure Can Be Like Painting the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed objects in the world. Built over 75 years ago for a mere $35 million, this majestic suspension bridge required the tallest towers, the longest, thickest cables and the largest underwater foundation piers ever built. The view from Golden Gate National Recreation Area on a clear day — overlooking the Bridge and San Francisco Bay from the north side — is breathtaking. Its trademark color is a brilliant vermillion (“international orange”) that resists rust and suits the natural beauty of the area.

On my first visit to the area in the 70s during a family vacation, an interesting fact stuck in my mind. The bridge is constantly being repainted — a maintenance initiative that is never finished. It turns out that exposure to salt-laden fog wreaks havoc on the paint job and also limits the hours when painting can be done.

Fast-forward a couple of decades, and one of my responsibilities was maintaining a very large IVR platform. The Golden Gate Bridge came to mind as I worked to justify the constant need to refresh system hardware. Keeping the platform up to date was a big job, requiring lots of planning, coordinating, purchasing, configuring, staging and installing — followed by more configuring, testing, and occasionally troubleshooting, fixing and retesting. Sometimes, we refreshed because of age; other times, we were upgrading because of tremendous growth. Still other times, we replaced systems because new software versions required more power, more disk, and/or more storage. Over time, we developed a great deal of expertise in this maintenance activity — just as the Golden Gate painters no doubt did.

Avoiding the burden of installing, managing and refreshing IT infrastructure is one of the significant advantages of using a hosted service provider. Other advantages include avoiding the effort associated with software upgrades, bug fixes, and security scans and audits. And, of course, there is application design, development, integration, testing, and support — all of which require a considerable amount of skill and experience.

A cloud solution negates the need to hire, train, manage retain and/or replace the subject matter experts who make it all happen. You get to focus on your core business, and we get to focus on ours. Let us do the painting — you get to use the bridge and enjoy the view.

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