When people start talking about cloud computing, it does not usually take long for someone to broach the subject of cost.
Those who advocate the cloud in a big way will often suggest that you can use this technology to reduce the expenses typically associated with IT. But is this true? Do people who work in the industry tend to exaggerate the benefits of a solution that does not really live up to its hype?
To help paint a clearer picture, here are just some of the ways that you can reduce IT costs by migrating to the cloud.
With on-premises IT it is generally necessary to spend money on the right hardware to support the kind of systems and solutions that your business requires if it is to be competitive in the modern marketplace.
This can be an expensive process and you will also need to think about the fact that you need to find space to keep this equipment, as well as taking into account the idea that at some point it will become out of date and require further costly upgrading.
With the cloud, the expense associated with procuring equipment and worrying about when upgrades will need to be made is shouldered by the provider, rather than by individual companies using the service.
This means that there are no major upfront costs preventing you from adopting a modern platform and no unwanted expenses that could crop up further down the line.
Acquiring the hardware is just half the battle, because internal IT set-ups also require constant maintenance and can suffer from outages and hardware failures that you will need to deal with quickly in order to avoid costly downtime.
The type of maintenance that will be required, along with the amount you will have to pay for it and the regularity with which it will need to be carried out, can all be quite variable, which is a major issue when you are planning budgets.
Cloud computing is once again able to remove these concerns from businesses, since the provider will have an expert member of staff on hand to constantly monitor hardware. This allows for quick responses to technical or network issues, thus reducing the risk of extended outages.
An on-site IT solution is only able to benefit a business as long as it is accessible, which is why it requires suitable network connectivity and a consistent supply of power.
Both of these can be expensive to procure and costly to maintain, which is why many companies are forced to settle for a less than ideal IT set-up.
By outsourcing to the cloud, it is possible to further mitigate such necessary expenses through the economy of scale, since a provider will be in a better position to ensure that infrastructural elements are as resilient and flexibly available as possible.
Implementing IT necessitates the presence of trained staff who are able to manage, monitor and maintain your business systems. This of course increases costs, because you need to find salaries for further permanent employees.
Alternatively, you can look to the cloud, where the technical side of things will be handled by a third-party company and you can realign your resources without needing to hire a much bigger IT team.
In addition, the use of cloud computing will allow your existing employees to become much more efficient and productive, which generates further benefits in terms of cost.
There are of course caveats and variables that need to be taken into account when it comes to looking at how much you can save by using cloud computing, but as it stands many agree that it will at least ease pressure on your budget.
This article is published in association with Daisy Group plc, a leading independent business telecoms provider. You can find out more about their cloud computing services here.