Published on Thursday, 28 June 2012
For companies seriously considering the cloud, but who are uncertain of the potential benefits, I've drawn up a short list of why cloud computing might make sense when compared with hosting in a data center or separately building the required infrastructure. Once considered an unproven technology, cloud computing has steadily gained mainstream acceptance. Here is Why:
Cost Savings – the proof is in the numbers. Unless you are building a huge network, a Cloud Computing provider will work out to better numbers. The costs are big for installing and maintaining an IT infrastructure. Cloud Computing substitutes a fixed monthly fee for your capital and ongoing costs. Plus you will get quicker profits on start-up of new projects (speed to market). You will reduce the risk associated with on-premise implementations that require funding but have an uncertain payback. The dollar savings get better when you consider the hardware and project-management resources required to make it happen. Plus no hidden surprise costs.
- Budget Forecasting – Using a Cloud-based managed service provider makes it easier to accurately forecast costs. If you are on your own, there are unpredictable costs like server crashes and mandatory upgrades. Usually the Cloud Computing provider is responsible for capital IT and personnel costs. All you have to do is forecast for a fixed monthly fee. Yes, this fee increases if your number of users increase, but you know exactly how much. This is great if you are either in a growth mode or when headcount is being reduced. When you are doing something like merging projects, you can really get your hands around predicting the cost benefits
- Scalability – It is great with Cloud Computing to have theoretically unlimited scalability. Remember when architecture upgrades took months and never came in on time because something in hardware or software was late or some other un-thought-of thing happened. WOW! You could now build websites or services that start off hardly drawing any Cloud resources, but can scale up during visitor spikes; and you don't have any capital investments. You can rapidly react to changing market conditions. In the cloud, you can leverage the Cloud provider’s enterprise-level IT resources and deploy them as-needed. Cloud Computing gives you flexibility because applications can be turned on and off as required. Servers and other infrastructure can be scaled up or down as required based on business needs. A Cloud provider is flexible and has almost unlimited scalability to bring in more (or less) employees when you need so you only pay for what you use. If you need more bandwidth your Cloud provider has absolutely no problem because he has a big capacity of remote servers.
- Morale Boosting – We all know that internal IT functions hate maintenance, support and operations functions. Outsourcing this all to Cloud-based providers will bring greater employee morale. Cloud solutions let employees work from home using the same kind of interface they have at the office. This might be the right timing to look at moving more employees to remote.
- Improved Risk Management – As you know, the larger your IT investment gets, the risk grows too. Cloud providers minimize your dependence on on-site systems because they take on the risk of all the IT deliverables.
- Remote Working – IT organizations have been challenged on how to deliver applications and data remotely. Cloud Computing does it with ease and securely too. IT organizations have been trapped behind corporate firewalls. But Cloud applications are available wherever you give it access: from any location, no matter the distance.
- Disaster Recovery – Instead of always having to back up files (and retrieve / restore after a disaster) you can rely on the Cloud Computing provider’s data backup and protection process.
- Complexity – It is very complex to implement what the Cloud companies have done: all the redundancies, backup, etc. Time to move over for the pros.
- Competition – As more companies move to Cloud Computing, vendor competition can only increase. Cloud vendors are starting to adjust their prices and service offerings.
- Efficiency – companies that move to Cloud Computing work better because they leave maintaining and servicing a complicated IT infrastructure to the experts who regard this as a core business!