More and more businesses are finding themselves drawn to cloud hosting – but what’s the cost? As any good cloud provider will tell you, it depends what you’re looking to achieve from your cloud infrastructure. You might be scaling up, scaling down, looking to improve resilience or security, or perhaps create a fully flexible remote working environment for your business.
But whatever your goal, when it comes to cloud computing, then generally your IT spend will convert from a CapEx to an OpEx model. Cloud computing takes away that regular upfront investment every 3, 5 or 7 years for server hardware (not forgetting software, licencing, power, cooling, maintenance and support), and changes it to a running cost as you effectively rent server space on somebody else’s hardware.
Infrastructure moving to the cloud
Cloud hosting does have to exist somewhere (it’s not actually magic!) and this means there is some physical hardware of course. But you don’t need to worry about that part with the right provider. The initial undertaking is usually around how to migrate all of your business data and apps to the cloud, and your provider takes care of the maintenance, patching, security and redundancy.
Something you need to think about, is educating your employees around the changes to the way they’ll be working. If your employees are used to using VPNs, is a hosted desktop a practical solution?
Technology costs become more manageable
Initially it’s likely that you’ll be moving to a platform that’s a considerable improvement on the current hardware you’re running. Cloud platforms should be consistent with advanced technologies such as storage, CPU and networking, so you’ll get a noticeable improvement in performance.
What you’ll also have going forward, is IT as a running cost, making budgeting and scaling, much more manageable. Eventually of course, cloud hosting and on-prem costs meet in the middle and you break even, but if you’re looking to avoid those spikes in spend that come with server hardware replacement, extended warranties and licensing, then cloud puts a big tick in the box for you.
Consider energy usage
Physical hardware costs money to run, that much has always been apparent. As a business, it’s another overhead to keep your servers up 24/7, there’s no economy of scale there and as such it’s a bone of contention for some business owners that have to pay energy costs, even when nobody is in the office, at the same rate they would if they were.
Cloud hosting, especially with an outsourced cloud provider, allows for cheaper energy costs in the long term. Businesses benefit from shared energy costs and this also allows companies to take advantage of numerous health and safety benefits from not having to declare energy usage or test their server equipment in line with industry regulations.
So while it may feel daunting to make the jump to the cloud, the long term cost benefits make budgeting more manageable, eliminate unexpected spikes in spend and convert your IT spend into a running cost, as well as performance boosts, increased security, redundancy and business agility.
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