Cloud computing benefits businesses in many ways. For most organisations, the cost-saving benefits will be the most compelling argument to start a cloud 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.
Businesses that move to cloud computing see cost benefits that increase their profits in the long run, as it allows them to pay for the resources they need today while taking advantage of scale and reliability.
Cloud computing provides natural economies of scale allowing businesses to pay only for what they need. This reduces costs by optimising both software licences and hardware or storage purchases both on-premise or within the data centre.
(Read more: Has your data centre become a financial burden?)
One of the largest expenses of running your own infrastructure is the electricity load. As the cost of utilities rise this will only become more expensive. A cloud computing strategy eliminates much of the unnecessary overhead of powering your own infrastructure.
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, allowing staff to focus on innovation, optimisation, and other more critical projects rather than the maintenance of in-house infrastructure.
Shifting away from the costly upfront expenses of a CapEx model for IT spending frees up business capital to use in other ways. A cloud strategy allows companies then to move to an operational expense (OpEx) model. With OpEx, 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.
Most organisations understand the massive cost that any disruption can have on their business. This is why most disaster recovery plans include building redundancy into everything, yet this just doubles the cost! Using cloud services instead allows you to gain resilience without needing to buy two of everything.
Implementing cloud services can also help reduce your organisation's overall carbon footprint. The reduced carbon footprint is measured as a combination of saving energy as well as optimising your actual footprint within your own or your cloud provider’s data centre. This means you can save money without paying to offset your carbon footprint.
Because building, implementing and maturing cloud strategies will continue to be a high priority in the future, IT organisations must take the steps to move to a cloud-first strategy. In their 2020 Planning Guide for Cloud Computing, Gartner suggests:
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.
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