Most corporations will be in the 'Cloud' primarily using a Platform [Paas] or Software as a Service [SaaS]. These 2 Cloud Delivery models are essential for using software applications and allowing the development and testing of applications running in the cloud. Many operational departments will use Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS]; to scale out and improve the reliability of the server and network infrastructure.

 

There are 5 main costs associated with Cloud computing:

 

 

Cloud Costs

Analyze costs carefully to understand total-cost-of-ownership (TCO). While most vendors offer pay-as-you-go pricing, an annual contract is often required.

Most of the time businesses will have a hybrid strategy depending on the workloads. So cloud costs can’t just be looked at in isolation but as part of the overall portfolio.

 

Cloud Performance and Reliability

 

Check the vendor’s reliability statistics. You should be looking for one that is in the 99% or better range.

 

 

Verify that a full daily backup of data is performed at minimum and that a redundant backup center exists in one or more locations (preferably in different states in case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake).

 

Cloud Security

Your company’s critical data is being stored with a third party outside your office walls. Controls need to be in place for transmitting data to the provider securely over the Internet.

 

 

Ask for a copy of the report and a copy of the vendor’s privacy policy. Also inquire as to how security breaches are handled, including specifically how soon customers are notified.

 

Cloud Support

 

 

Integration and Development

 

Ease of integration with your “behnd-the-firewall” Apps is an important factor to consider when making technology purchasing decisions. While some Web-based applications can easily build upon one another and seamlessly transfer and share data, that is not always the case. Evaluate how well the application integrates with your existing ones (both in the cloud and on-premise). 

 

Some vendors offer application program interfaces (APIs) for your software developers (if you have any). This allows your developers to write custom applications that are hosted by the vendor and also allows developers to integrate those products with on-premise or other Web-based applications. The vendors may also allow for the sharing of applications between customers through an online shopping mall of sorts.

 

Benefits of Cloud could include:

 

 

There is choice when moving to the Cloud [but no choice for most businesses to do so...]

The calculation supporting a move to the 'Cloud' is rather straightforward:

The organization will move from  CapEx  to  OpEx ;   pay a third-party vendor to run one or more of their systems, like CRM, email or HR, on its own servers. The organization will save a lot of money on hardware, software and personnel costs and can devote those resources to boosting revenue generating activities.

As with all new technology, cloud computing should be approached with enthusiasm and caution. Only when businesses are totally satisfied they actually saving money or that their valuable data is safe will they migrate to the cloud.