One of the biggest motivators moving organizations to the cloud is the desire to save money. But the question remains, how much money can you really save? Well, that depends! It’s impossible to throw out a number as it all comes down to your individual organizational needs and the type of cloud you choose; providing a range is not helpful either, as a move could give you savings in the millions—or put your savings in the red (yes, the cloud could actually cost you money). So forget numbers and ranges. Instead, let’s look at 10 ways the cloud makes saving money possible.
1. No Capital Costs
The cloud transforms IT from capital expense (CapEx) into operating expense (OpEx). Your provider takes care of hardware and its management, so you don’t have to make large investments in equipment and real estate to house it. There’s also no need to purchase expensive software and pay pricey licensing fees. And IT capital expenditures are hardly a one-and-done; there’s the ongoing cost of equipment repair and replacement, large upfront costs when new equipment is needed in order to scale, and of course software upgrades. With the cloud, it’s taken care of for you.
As an OpEx, the cloud follows the pay-as-you-go pricing model; you pay only for what you use, much like a utility. This cuts the costs associated with overpaying for unused capacity. In addition, you gain more flexibility when it comes to scaling up or scaling down—and if any software isn’t working for your organization, you’re able to simply cancel.
3. Economies of Scale
In the cloud, resources are shared with thousands of other organizations—with more making the move every day. That means costs can be spread out across each organization, lowering your pay-as-you-go costs. In addition, with all their customers operating on the same back-end infrastructure, cloud providers have a vested interest in keeping things running smoothly and securely, while maintaining high levels of uptime.
4. Increased Productivity
Software in the cloud generally performs faster than traditional software. Deployment duration times are reduced, so employees can spend less time waiting and more time working. Plus, a true cloud provider can offer much greater uptime, so should servers go down, employees may not even notice—or will only be sidelined for a minute or two.
5. Increased Collaboration
The cloud gives employees anytime access to files and documents from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows remote workers to work seamlessly with others, in real time, whether at home, on the road, or overseas. Plus, collaboration technologies through the cloud have been shown to increase productivity by as much as 400 percent!
6. Lower Utility Costs
Cost will vary depending on your equipment and the amount of equipment, but the potential savings you achieve due to lowered electricity usage is nothing to sneeze at. Consider this: because systems run day and night, 365 days per year, you’re paying for air conditioning at all times, even on weekends. In warm-weather climates like Florida, those costs quickly add up.
7. Reduced Labor
You no longer need to have an IT army on staff to handle your day-to-day IT needs, and those you do employ can focus on innovation versus managing day-to-day tasks. That’s exactly why Goldman Sachs moved to the cloud; over time, they’ve reduced IT staff compensation by 50 percent. “Now we’re spending more dollars on the technology itself rather than managing the technology, so we’re better able to tap into innovation,” says J. Ram, managing director and co-head of cloud platforms for Goldman.
8. Less Risk of Disaster
Losing your critical data due to disaster—malware, outages, human error, and Mother Nature herself—can cripple and possibly sink your business. A trusted cloud provider will keep your data tucked safely away in a secure data center that offers dual authentication security, computer room air conditioning, an uninterruptible power source, redundant N+1 generators in a hurricane-rated structure.
9. Greater Competitive Advantage
The cloud enables small and medium-sized organizations to operate more like the major players within their industry; the “David and Goliath” fight becomes much more balanced! Plus, the cloud’s flexibility allows them to seize market opportunities faster and respond quicker to customer needs.
10. Plough Back Benefits
This is where the cloud can really make an impact; the cloud doesn’t just save money—it can help you make money! A recent Microsoft survey found that nearly 70 percent of organizations reinvested cloud savings back into their business, helping bring on new talent and drive product innovation to grow the company.
Moving to the cloud is a great way for your organization to get ahead, but just how much it can save you remains elusive; some savings will materialize immediately, others will come in time. But with businesses both big and small making the move, and government agencies and healthcare organization migrating as well, isn’t it time for you to take advantage of all the cloud has to offer?