Cloud computing has firmly secured its spot in the constantly evolving lexicon of information technology but there are still plenty of questions in terms of what it is and how it can help a business.
In simple terms, cloud computing is the abstract term most often used for Internet-based services. In other words, software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and so many others that we may as well just finally start referring to everything-as-a-service.
All of these so-called Internet or Cloud-based services are intended to replace more traditional on-premise services such as email and office applications, networking and storage resources, and all sorts of data management solutions to name just a few.
In most if not all cases of cloud adoption, the goals are two-fold: 1) greater business agility and 2) lower IT costs.
Business agility is important but also relatively intangible while most people pay much closer attention when it comes to saving money. But how exactly do you increase agility and reduce costs with cloud computing?
In simple terms, there are five ways the cloud will save you money:
1. OpEx vs. CapEx
By paying for services instead of hardware and software, businesses are converting what would normally be capital expenditures (CapEx) into operational expenditures (OpEx). In addition to reducing the time to deployment, OpEx is also much simpler in terms of business accounting.
2. Renting vs. Buying
With cloud computing, organizations only pay for what they use through some sort of subscription-based pricing. In other words, if someone isn’t using a particular cloud-based service then all anybody has to do is cancel the subscription. The result is less waste and more savings.
Most organizations only thinking of scalability in terms of scaling up but scaling down is equally important. Due to the flexible pricing model described above, scaling up and down is literally as simple as adding or cancelling services on an as-needed basis.
4. Business Agility
There’s that term again and, yes, cloud computing does lead to greater business agility. By simplifying the addition of new resources, organizations are better able to meet the ever-changing demands of the market by adding new capabilities more quickly with cloud computing.
5. Business Continuity
Disasters come in all shapes and sizes and on-premise IT infrastructures as well as the information they support must be backed-up in terms of equipment and locations. Cloud-services are hosted off-site by third party providers who are legally bound to backup and protect your continuity.
While this list is just a sampling of the many ways that organizations can start saving money with cloud computing, it does go a long way to explain the rising popularity of this important technological innovation. In reality, most of us are probably using cloud computing already without even realizing it. That trend is likely to continue is a growing number of organizations continue to replace all manner of traditional on-premise solutions with much more agile and cost-effective cloud-based services.