As I am entering the beloved annual “planning season,” it occurs to me we are all in the same boat – we are wondering how do we keep up with and best plan for our IT Infrastructure needs? Now, I admit I may have an advantage as I am employed by an IT Infrastructure solutions provider but, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander right?

So, what does my technology roadmap look like for the next year? The next three years? The next five years? While doing some research, I came across a recent survey conducted by IBM with over 3000 CIOs. According to the report, “CIOs are recalibrating their toolsets: While the top 3 priorities remain the same, mobility and cloud computing made the biggest leaps among their visionary plans.”

Cloud computing adds flexibility, and the ability to explore new and alternative technology paths, without risking capital investments that can drag on our P&L for years to come. It also affords me another option when planning for both the short and long term.

So why cloud IT Infrastructure services and why now? When making IT capital purchases, the risk of buying and underutilizing an asset can grow quickly. Companies have been virtualizing infrastructure whenever possible to drive utilization and minimize investments. But the challenge of virtualization grows with the complexity of the environment, which can erode benefits rapidly. As we’ve all experienced, the business is constantly adapting to the market place and IT needs to move with them. What was a fantastic purchase last year can be this year’s boat anchor! Trying to anticipate the needs of the business is at best, a challenge.

Moving to a proven cloud provider allows me to focus on delivering timely solutions. The benefits of having the ability to flex technologies without the long term commitment and delivering highly secure availability and outstanding reliability through a cloud provider, like Internap, are considerable.

As you go into that that time of year we all look forward to (not!), our annual planning season, are you looking at all your alternatives? What portion of your technology investments are moving to the cloud? Is the cloud in your toolkit?

Afford your company (and your team) the flexibility and include the cloud in your lifecycle planning. Providers like Internap can be that key partner you are looking for.

By the way, how’s your 2012 planning going? What’s your biggest concern for next year?