We have passed the tipping point where companies are committed to moving their computing workloads to the cloud. It’s now easier to justify that strategic action than it is to justify not moving to the cloud. So now that you’re committed, what outcomes can you expect?
The first benefit anticipated by those considering cloud is cost. But there are several dynamics are in play. The first is that fact that the move of IT infrastructure to the cloud shifts it from being a capital expense to an operating expense. That’s a huge benefit to most corporations. The second financial benefit is cost reduction, something that always captures managers’ attention. Migrating to the public cloud can reduce expense by 10-40%, with lesser savings in private cloud and hybrid configurations. Be aware that if your on-premises environment wasn’t configured for reliability and resiliency (which unfortunately occurs more often than it should), a move to the cloud calls for a more robust setup which could increase expenses from your current baseline. The good news is that you’ll be doing this on a better cost curve than most shops have on-prem. A final financial benefit comes from the elasticity of the cloud: you will have better asset utilization and consume - and pay for- only what you need to run your workloads.
While acknowledging that financial benefits are first to draw attention, the largest benefit of moving to the cloud is organizational agility. Because IT is an enabler of business activity, your organization will be able to plan and deploy, or respond to changing conditions, far more rapidly than had been possible in a fixed-cost, capital-intensive model. The cloud also creates instant access to tools and resources that enable you to innovate more rapidly. Creating new capabilities, developing new products, accessing new markets, will all be available on a much faster timeline than history would suggest. So beyond saving 20% of your IT infrastructure expense, think of now being able to grow your entire business by 20%.
With the care and feeding of the gear being done by others, your IT team can focus on high value-added activities that can make your entire business more digital. Instead of seeing IT focused on enabling backend processes, more of your business can be accessible to all parts of your value chain. You can make it easy for customers to find and buy your products and services, and for your operations and partners to respond to demand rapidly and efficiently. That concurrently boosts customer delight and profitability, a double win.
Moving to the cloud comes with ancillary benefits beyond these, including improved physical and network security, greater access to information across a greater range of devices, and deeper support for infrastructure (if you set it up with your cloud service provider).
All these benefits are available to you, but it’s important to make explicit all the services and benefits you want to receive from your provider. Advantage is always available to help.