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Saving Money With The Cloud
Companies and governments save a lot of money using the cloud. Small businesses cut their costs with 3rd party services, while enterprises and governments often opt for hybrid solutions, outsourcing their storage only partially and using public cloud for a fraction of their computing requirements, for example, hosting the main website.
On the whole, governments and businesses approach the adoption of cloud computing on their own, idiosyncratic terms, which serves the point: there are considerable differences between the needs and wants of each sector.
Governments adopt cloud technologies pragmatically and slowly. The principles, however, remain the same for public and private sectors alike. Cloud computing is used to cut costs and to focus on services, rather than the technology to provide them. The use of the cloud for sharing Curiosity’s photos was a notable exception. Government organizations have been pioneers in making Big Data stand up to its name, with the US Department of Defense taking bids for 4 exabytes of storage back in 2013.
Starting with email optimization, a secure cloud system for the State of California and numerous others, the last few years have indeed seen rapid growth in government adoption of cloud services. Governments are, however, slow to adopt cloud technologies due to perceived security issues, lack of standardization and limping collaboration. We might well have to wait for a few years until governments start taking bolder strides towards moving their apps and data to the cloud.
It’s suggested–by a study covering 7 businesses with revenues from $50m to $550m–that cloud computing can save about 15% in IT costs. Small and medium-sized businesses benefit greatly from the scalability, the reduced labor expenses and the sheer quickness of deploying something new on a readily available infrastructure. The private sector is more active in adopting the cloud, but its needs are no match to those of military technology and nationwide data.
(Image Source: http://www.computereconomics.com/article.cfm?id=1932)
Businesses with apps that have huge load spikes benefit from the cloud as computing power is readily available and can be switched off at any moment. However, even businesses with a static workload benefit in some other way. When IT staff has the resources to deploy three apps instead of one, good things happen. Failure becomes less of a drag as you didn’t buy 12 state-of-the-art servers just to launch an app, and development costs decrease dramatically.
Skeptics, on the other hand, lament businesses diving into the cloud without prior research. As there are hidden costs associated with cloud computing, it might be sensible to… to do what?
Some suggest waiting for the services to become more cost-efficient. The massive price drops seen in Q2 just might propel more entrepreneurs into taking action. Others suggest waiting for extras that facilitate porting legacy software, a concern Microsoft seem to be acutely aware of, as is made evident by the amount of stuff Azure is equipped with.
This, however, stands true: as with all major decisions, it’s wise to do a metric ton of research, concentrating first and foremost on ROI, before committing to skip the cloud.
What do you think? What are the main benefits, in terms of costs or otherwise, of the cloud? How did your migration work out?
By Lauris Veips