When the cloud provides savings

18 06 2009

Many organisations are looking at possibilities in which “cloud computing” can provide savings. However, many IT people themselves will resist migrating large areas of their IT to the cloud, and for good reasons. After all, there are so many considerations:

  • Security
  • Accessibility
  • Potential Expansion costs
  • Support
  • Migration
  • Etc

When looking into cloud computing, it makes great sense for consumers and small businesses. For medium organisations and larger corporations, the numbers just don’t add up, and there are far too many “concerns”.

This is something I have posted about in the past; https://andrewonedegree.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/does-cloud-computing-save-money/ and is something that more and more people are talking to me about…So, does the cloud provide savings on storage? Savings on software? Administration?

Storage savings in the cloud?

Errrmmmm. Probably not. Not even if you are a small business or it’s just you on your own. Storage space and storage devices are so cheap now, your far better off just plugging in a removable hard drive and using that as a storage device. Ok, so it’s not a mirrored drive, but you can automate your backups quite easily and you can even take them off site, all this at almost zero cost monthly.

If you look to use the “cloud” for your storage, you may well find that your monthly outlay will be creeping up. My own company has stopped providing these services to small organisations simply because there isn’t a saving to be made. On top of that, if you have large “lumps” of data to store online, it can take a hell of a long time to upload.

So when does the “cloud” provide savings?

Basically, if your volume of usage is low, then the “cloud” makes great sense. Let’s look at Microsoft Office running in the cloud. Small businesses basically all purchase an Office license, and with it they use Office to run large areas of the business (in micro-businesses maybe all of the company). However, Office in the “cloud” provides them with pretty much the same functionality at a vastly reduced cost. So instantly there are savings to be made.

SaaS (Software as a Service) really can provide genuine savings, especially for small organisations. There are also the added benefits of “sharing” information through “cloud” based applications. Though again, please be careful, not all SaaS provides savings, especially over the longer term. Many applications that operate in the “cloud” also store your information in the “cloud”, and as such can mean a cost for using up x amount of space.

Our own workFile ECM solution can be used in the cloud as SaaS. There are great savings to be made for smaller organisations, as the amount of content they access; store etc in the cloud is small enough not to have any impact on cost. However, if their requirements got to a level where storage and bandwidth becomes real issues, it makes great financial sense to purchase and implement the system internally.

 

Conclusion…

The “cloud” can deliver you and your organisation great savings if the volumes are right. Always, always, always, monitor and make sure you know what volumes of usage and storage you may / are using. At a point, the “cloud” stops delivering savings and starts providing you with added costs…

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