Since entering the market a number of years ago, cloud computing has become an attractive alternative for companies looking to replace their powerful, if aging, in-house IT systems.
One of the reasons for this has been the amount of effort cloud providers have put into marketing it as the low cost alternative – no doubt encouraged by the economic turbulence of the last few years.
Almost out of the blue the cloud has become the platform of choice for organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Nothing excites finance directors and chief information officers more than the opportunity of saving a lot of money on a potentially costly IT system.
However, as we’ve discussed previously on this blog they need to make sure that their organisation is not only ready to ascend to the cloud, but that they have the back-up in place should things come crashing back down, before jumping onto the bandwagon and sending everything to the cloud.
However, one of the trends we have seen emerging recently is that decision makers are placing less emphasis on the savings they achieve in like-for-like technology when they’re looking at the cloud. One of the reasons, we believe, is that the actual costs of technology only make up a small percentage of the overall cost of an IT department (between 10 and 20 per cent).
Instead, they’re looking for technology solutions that are sustainable and are going to deliver operational and energy efficiency for the IT team over the years to come.
Fortunately, and this is something that Neil Cross, Advanced 365’s managing director, is passionate about, these are the biggest benefits of introducing cloud-based systems to an organisation’s IT department.
If you add the security benefits of running your IT through an experienced and reputably cloud provider – properly managed, the cloud is more secure than an internally managed IT system – you’ve got a pretty unbeatably combination.
Then there are the cloud’s environmental credentials. Despite the recent economic ice age, companies still recognise that have a part to play in reducing the impact of human beings on the planet. Introducing shared infrastructure that maximises server utilisation, adopting an effective provisioning strategy and improving data centre energy efficiency will go a long way to reducing the impact of the corporate world on our planet.
In fact, if reports in the media are to be believed, the cloud has the potential to reduce the amount of energy an organisation uses by anything from 30 to 90 per cent.
However, despite the many potential advantages the cloud brings, public perception is still poor in many areas. This is almost certainly down to a lack of understanding of what the cloud actually is – let us not forget that ‘cloud’ is a generic term that takes in all manner of services: private cloud, public cloud, software as a service, and infrastructure as a service to name a few.
Combine this with an uncertainty of how secure data trusted to it really is and it’s no surprise that the general public, and a surprising number of key decision-makers, are still unsure whether this brave new world is worth the hassle.
Moving into the cloud has the potential to change organisational culture, drive operational processes and build the organisation’s reputation in the competitive environment. To drive that change, we need to communicate the advantages that the cloud can bring to our organisations, while understanding the uncertainties that still exist in the wider world.Driving change and cutting costs by Neil Cross