To Cloud, or not to Cloud (and is there a silver lining)?


Written by: CIBIS, 07 Nov 2016

If you have any interaction with the digital world or IT generally, you will almost certainly have at least heard the term “the Cloud”. You may have even wondered if it might be right for you and your business.

To answer the question “is it right for me?” you need to be very clear about your expectations and have a good understanding of your current (and planned) usage of IT services.

There are definitely savings and other advantages of cloud computing, but the magnitude and areas those savings arise in might surprise you.

For example, a survey of companies having millions of dollars in turnover across 5 countries in Europe found there were distinct differences in the benefit derived from adopting a cloud-based platform depending on the nature of the main industry types (at a national level). Industries which experience seasonal peaks (for example, finance, retail, manufacturing and hospitality) benefit the most from the “scalability” and “elasticity” of a cloud based IT platform.

Similarly, there were trends in benefits and opportunities with the type of cloud platform (public, private or a hybrid model).

Deciding which model is the right model for you can be crucial in determining whether you can actually save on costs at all, not just how much you can save.

In a recent article for TechTarget, the author reported a client who was running a monthly bill of $10,000 for a single server in the cloud. This was a quite intensive workload, and whether this was more or less expensive than running the same service in-house was not disclosed, but clearly cloud computing can cost serious money!

As well as picking the right model, it is also essential to have a sound migration strategy and plan. This is typically a relatively fixed once-off fee, but if poorly planned or conceived, it can have a serious impact on the total cost (or worse) and obviously your return on investment.

In a 2016 survey by CloudEndure of almost 260 IT professionals world-wide, the average planning phase was 13 “man weeks” or about 23% of the migration projects time, with the actual execution of the migration accounting for almost half at 45% or 27 “man weeks”, clearly underlining the importance of careful planning in a cloud migration project.

Finally, you should not ignore the importance and benefit that comes from having well-defined service level agreements (SLA’s) in place, as well as other contractual agreements. This can be a very cost-effective means of meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, and that same 2016 survey ranked “Security and Compliance” as the 4th most important driver for cloud migration. Put another way, 20% of the survey respondents said Security & Compliance was the main driver for migrating to the cloud.

Clearly, cloud platforms offer the opportunity for cost savings, or at the very least a shift from CapEx based costs and budgets to an OpEx based one, but there are almost as many potential pitfalls as benefits.

Unless you have considerable expertise in-house, choosing a partner to help with the initial phases of planning is a crucial step to not just avoiding the pitfalls and “getting it right”, but making a well-informed go, or no go decision in the first place.

In the coming weeks we will delve into the options, strategies and considerations in more detail. If you want to learn more, now, about how CIBIS cloud can benefit your business, fill in our Cloud Calculator Form to receive personalised, tailored advice.