When should we buy into the cloud?

March 3rd, 2014, Published in Articles: EngineerIT

 

by Richard Vester, EOH Cloud Services

Companies face important IT challenges today. Not only do they have to deploy and run their business applications with agility, their infrastructures need to scale to support growth while maintaining quality of service – all in a cost-efficient manner.

Richard Vester, CEO

Richard Vester

Cloud computing has been flagged as the new mantra to address these age-old challenges, yet there are dozens of definitions of what it actually entails. Essentially, cloud computing is a business model. It is the delivery of on demand software and infrastructure as services via the Internet. Cloud computing can be either public or private, or a hybrid of the two, all with its unique benefits whilst providing high efficiency, high availability and elastic capacity in business performance.

Public clouds ensure a lower upfront investment, no infrastructure setup and minimal management, but not without security risks. On the other hand, private clouds eventually translate into lower total costs, easier integration and greater control to ensure quality of service and data integrity. Hybrid clouds are considered the sweet spot of cloud computing, blending a combination of both public and private, harnessing organisations existing infrastructures and extending them into the cloud.

But with all the hype around cloud computing many companies ask me: what will happen if I just carry on running my business the way I have always run it? Do I have to buy into the cloud now?

The answer is not straightforward, but organisations need to realise that in ten years time, most software vendors would have moved from a perpetual licensing model, where they sell software on a per-user model, to a month-to-month service per user model. For small to medium business enterprises the transition towards cloud is a lot less complex than large organisational behemoths involving the structured transformation of people, processes and technology.

So whether organisations like it or not, they are essentially being pushed towards cloud computing where applications are consumed on a month to month basis. The question still remains if it is going to be a private cloud environment or a public/service provider environment. This will largely depend on an organisation’s financial capability to invest in infrastructure, or opt to rent services from a hosting provider.

Simply put, cloud computing is a natural progression of where IT in the business enterprise is heading. While each company has its own unique requirements, and the timing of the cloud migration depends on numerous factors, every business must actively start evaluating the best cloud route for them.

Contact Richard Vester, EOH Cloud Solutions, Tel 011 266-4000, richard.vester@eoh.co.za

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