Top 10 business reasons to move to the cloud

Article Maxwell Cooter Feb 21st 2013

The move to cloud computing is not just about improving the underlying technology, there are compelling business reasons too

Every business these days is under pressure to do less with more and in such circumstances there’s pressure to maximise the return on investment throughout the entire operation.

Naturally, IT departments aren’t immune from this approach and they have been looking to find ways to improve the bottom line.

Increasingly, they are looking at the benefits provided by cloud computing as a means to do this but to do so means taking a hard look at the business drivers.

It’s accepted as fact that there are a multitude of technical reasons why a company could move to the cloud, what’s been missing is a hard-faced look at the business reasons (ie the numbers) for moving to the cloud. In his seminal book, Cloudonomics, Joe Weinman sets out all the business arguments for cloud computing.

It’s a thorough overview: there are plenty of theories about cloud and the advantages to moving to predominantly cloud-based environment but what’s harder to gauge are facts about the true cost of cloud and an accurate assessment of business advantages. The book takes a very mathematical and statistical approach to the subject.

Weinman’s central philosophy is that all companies will benefit from some form of cloud computing. That’s not to say that all companies should move all their infrastructure to a public cloud  provider – in fact, he specifically says that this is not the answer, his call is for a hybrid approach where public cloud, private cloud and traditional on-premise installation mix together to provide an efficient mix of systems.

It’s not a radical thesis but it’s a book that sets out what many managers have learned that cloud computing offers the only way forward for any enterprise that wants to deploy IT in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Therefore, any enterprise that wants to move to the cloud can be assured that it has a range of well-costed reasons to make the change. But making those decisions isn’t always the easiest things to do and will involve a variety of factors: here are ten prime reasons why a company would look to make the change.

1)Cost savings
Initially, this was the most cited reason for a move to the cloud. It’s not necessarily the biggest driver but with the drive towards more with less, it’s always going to be a factor in the move towards cloud.

There are many reasons why cloud is cheaper: the most obvious of them is that the large cloud providers are able to benefit from huge economies from scale and thus be able to offer more computing power at a lower cost.

But that’s not the only aspect: a prime driver for cloud computing is the ability to pay for what’s being used and not be compelled to pay for unused services.  No CFO likes to pay for something that’s unnecessary or being made to pay twice for something.

In truth, the cost savings made from cloud can be over-stated: care needs to be taken that services are NOT over-provisioned and carefully handled, all enterprises should be able to demonstrate a positive gain on the balance-sheet.