It seems that cloud computing is making inroads into almost every service offering available to IT. There’s Software-as-a-Service, Platforms-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service – how about Service-as-a-Service? That last one might be a bit of a stretch, but one of the most exciting new “aaS” offerings may just be Management-as-a-Service, with the advent of cloud-based IT management.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about launching your boss into the stratosphere, what we’re talking about is moving systems management and upkeep services to the cloud. The tasks and systems that are required to manage your IT systems can all be run in the cloud, right alongside some of the key applications and services that are already there.

It just makes sense. Most businesses today are either already in the cloud, or are very interested in how cloud computing can save them money, keep them on the cutting edge, and provide them competitive advantages. E-mail, Web sites, collaboration, backup storage, CRM, financial functions and more all used to be bulky and expensive on-premises solutions, with tons of hardware and plenty of ancillary systems to keep them running.

Now you have Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration, Salesforce for CRM, Dropbox for backup storage, and many other cloud-based services providing businesses with just as good or better services than they could manage themselves, for a fraction of the cost.

While almost every business will maintain some “on-premises” systems and users’ workstations will be staying in place for the foreseeable future, the systems that IT uses to monitor those critical applications and services, and the patching and antivirus systems that both servers and workstations require can easily be handled by a cloud based solution.

Consider this. A typical IT shop will need a monitoring solution to inform them of the health and performance, of their workstations and servers and alert them to any outages. There will be a patch management system, possibly several, to help keep all the software up to date. Anti-virus management systems are a necessity to protect servers and workstations from malware. Those needs can all be met by cloud-based IT management.

You get rid of the infrastructure, and focus on the service. You no longer have to invest in the servers and operating systems these solutions require. You simply subscribe to the amount of each solution you need for the number of systems you have. You don’t have to build for growth, or maintain excess capacity. Cloud-based IT management solutions can dynamically grow to meet your demand.