There’s a lot of hype surrounding cloud computing systems these days, but the real question is, can it actually save your company money? Simply put, yes, but retrieving the full benefits of cloud storage can be a complex issue. Cloud storage could lower your IT expenses dramatically if your company leverages its power effectively.
Most companies switching to cloud storage do initially save a great deal of money by not having to maintain servers, which makes it an attractive option. There is enough evidence to suggest that although the short-term gains of converting to cloud-based storage systems are still unfolding, long-term gains are substantial.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK WHEN CONSIDERING CONVERTING YOUR COMPANY TO CLOUD-BASED STORAGE:
How will your business use cloud storage?
How many employees will be using it? It’s unlikely that any money will be saved if every employee is using it. Is everyone going to be using it all the time or will only some employees use it some of the time? Businesses are more likely to save money if cloud storage isn’t in perpetual use because much of the cloud-based storage systems operate on a pay-per-use or pay-per-hour platform.
If you have done the math and it makes sense for your company to convert to cloud storage, you should also consider what percentage of traditional data will still need to be housed in the hard data warehouse. Some types of business intelligence require traditional data warehousing, such as test and development work, social media, mobile back-ends, and websites.
How much will it cost your business to implement cloud storage?
Which systems are you currently using to operate and what are the absolute costs associated with them? What are the ongoing costs of managing your business with a SaaS application or migrating your current software architecture to and infrastructure service? You’ll have to decide what the best course of action is for determining how best to integrate the cloud into your business model.
There are many licensing and soft costs associated with switching, so when determining if a cloud transition is best, make sure you know what the out-the-door numbers are, including resource expenses for the IT department to spend the extra hours implementing the program. If your business has the internal resources to manage and maintain the systems without additional training, that’s great, but likely, they will need some time to acclimate at your company’s expense.
How secure is cloud storage?
The answer to this is tricky. Cloud storage can be secure, but still has its threats. Data breaches are a huge concern. To thwart these attacks, business must make sure their systems are bullet-proof because a single flaw in an application could allow a hacker access to your company’s valuable data.
Though there are numerous security precautions to take, this is chief among them. Insecure interfaces remain a substantial issue with cloud security because IT administrators rely on them for management and monitoring. Sharing credentials is a big no no, but many businesses easily share their credentialing information to enable specific add-on services to their interfaces.
There isn’t a convenient work around for this. Beyond the hacking threats, users must also consider potential data loss so it’s important to work with a reputable storage solution company that will protect your company’s entire infrastructure from the endpoint to the data center to the cloud.
According to Forrester Research, Inc., overall, the researchers were able to count the reduction of the IT budget by 26% of respondents in U.S. companies. The vast majority of all respondents (94%) stated that cloud computing somehow helped them save money. However, these numbers can be volatile because it’s still early and most companies haven’t been using these systems long enough to determine the ultimate longevity and security of cloud-based storage for their businesses.
Are you planning to use the cloud in your business? Let us know why or why not below.
About the Author:
Jared Jacobs has professional and personal interests in everything technology. As an employee of Dell, he has to stay up to date on the latest trends in cloud services and breakthroughs in large enterprise solutions and consumer electronics buying trends. In his spare time he is tinkering with sound systems and other awesome gadgets he can get his hands on. He’s also a big Rockets and Texans fan.