In Part One we explored cloud-based solutions and the financial benefits you can expect. In this blog we further explore the cost benefits and show you how to lead your organisation on a cloud-first strategy.

Most organisations fail to calculate the total cost of ownership when developing their own software, systems and infrastructure. This can lead to poor investment decisions, which can impact the overall profitability of your business in the long term.

Cloud computing benefits businesses in many ways: for most, the cost savings will be the most compelling argument to start a cloud strategy.

Businesses that do move to cloud computing experience cost benefits that increase their profits in the long run, as they allow companies to pay for the resources they need while taking advantage of scale and reliability.

Some of these cost saving benefits of cloud computing include the following:

1. Fully utilised infrastructure

Cloud computing provides natural economies of scale, allowing businesses to pay only for what they need. This allows for optimising both software licences and hardware or storage purchases both on-premise or within the data centre, reducing costs.

2. Lower power costs

One of the largest expenses of running your own infrastructure is the electricity load, which will only become more expensive as the cost of utilities rise.

3. Lower staff costs

Most organisations’ highest cost of business is workforce. This is exacerbated when companies build everything in-house. Cloud computing offers the option of a more streamlined workforce.

4. Eliminate CapEx

While you are still paying for software, hardware and other solutions, the total cost is amortised over the lifetime of the technology. The added bonus is that upgrades are included in the cost, so you never have to worry about putting up with obsolescence.

5. Gain resilience without expensive redundancy

Most organisations understand the massive cost of disruption their business. Many disaster recovery plans include building redundancy into everything – which simply doubles the cost! Cloud services allows you to gain resilience without needing to buy two of everything.

6. Reduce carbon footprint

This is a combination of saving energy and optimising your actual footprint within your own or your cloud provider’s data centre. Save money without paying to offset your carbon footprint.

Migrate to a cloud-first strategy

Because building, implementing and maturing cloud strategies will continue to be a high priority in 2017, IT organisations must take the steps to move to a cloud-first strategy. Gartner suggests in its 2017 Planning Guide for Cloud Computing:

  1. Implement a cloud-first strategy
  2. Hire and invest in a cloud architect and a cloud core team
  3. Move beyond the low-hanging fruit

Gartner advises to start building a cloud-first strategy now, if you haven't done so already. Most organisations will find the transition will take time, and can be difficult.

While Gartner advocates making public cloud services a priortised approach for deployment model, the research firm also recommends continuously evolving the suitability of cloud models. This suggests taking a multi-cloud strategy and planning for a multiprovider strategy.

The goal is to transform your organisation into a “broker of cloud services”, according to Gartner. “Delivering IT as a service (ITaaS) will require training, integration and investments in hybrid architectures for networking, identity, data and other key services,” it says.

Finally, choose the level of private cloud that is right for you. Focus on the most frequently provisioned workloads, where agility is required.