Last week I was asked by an I.T. Manager if our solution set was ‘Cloud-only.’ My response was direct. “Since Cloud-only technology solutions do not exist, no.”
What was the I.T. Manager seeking? I have heard several variations of this question and their actual desire.
First, we work with I.T. Managers who desire a solution without a dedicated server on-site. What is their issue with a dedicated, onsite server? Maintenance and cost. This desire makes sense, and it is why Cloud computing is so popular today. It is the reason why we moved data warehousing and business intelligence to the Cloud back in 2012. An offsite server brings up two crucial considerations – redundancy and uptime.
Second, we work with I.T. Managers who desire no data onsite. With progression on network speed and bandwidth increases, it is entirely possible to have hardware devices operate solely from the Cloud. However, in terms of volume, the number one type of call we receive at our service desk is, “help, our internet is down!” Since our solution platform operates on a hybrid architecture, our clients only need a reminder on how to handle credit card transactions in stand-alone mode. The solution in the senior living community continues to operate without interruption for hours, days, even months. Residents have little patience when it comes to mealtime service interruptions, which is why we consider our solution to be mission-critical, with a “6 Nines” uptime requirement.
Finally, we work with I.T. Managers who desire ‘nothing’ on site. Nothing refers to any software or hardware onsite that they must manage or handle. The issue isn’t a technology need, rather a change to the traditional service offering. IT as a Managed Service has the solution provider own the hardware assets and software licenses, and provide all the services to train and maintain the solution, for reoccurring service payments. While this eliminates the vast majority of IT management needs for the community, it comes with the highest operating expense.
There are more ways to engage technology service providers than ever before. Senior Living leadership teams need to determine the needs and the priorities of any solution set, with careful consideration towards uptime, data redundancy, and capital versus operating system costs.
Lance Bell is the President of ServingIntel Inc., the leading senior living technology company specializing in interaction management software.
Visit our solutions platform at www.servingintel.com/senior-living.