Many companies are migrating applications to the cloud, hoping to save on both hardware and operating expenses. The effort to migrate can be significant, however, and cloud computing can expose companies to risks, as well. Before deciding to make the move, companies should assess whether cloud computing will offer the benefits they want without costs they can't afford.
Don't make decisions based on assumptions
Make decisions based on metrics. Do the necessary due diligence. Understand your current architecture and what's involved in migrating to the cloud. Get accurate numbers so you know what you're spending now and what you'll be spending after you switch to the cloud. Without this data, there's no way to judge the ROI for your cloud migration.
Take a long-term perspective
Cloud projects that eliminate infrastructure can result in immediate savings. Cloud project that involve moving to software as a service (SaaS) can take longer to produce returns, especially if you've already made an investment in licenses. Keep these timeframes in mind as you weigh your decision.
It's not all about the money
Cloud projects are often sold based on dollars, but there are other impacts on your business that might be more significant. Will shifting responsibilities to the cloud provider free up your staff to work on projects that can contribute more to your business? Can the cloud provider offer a level of responsiveness your internal staff can't achieve? These non-savings effects of cloud computing can have a big impact on your company.
You won't eliminate all your IT spending
Sorry, but even though you offload responsibility to the cloud provider, you'll still have to perform some services internally. Be sure to account for these retained costs when you calculate ROI.
Resource utilization matters
The benefits of cloud computing are very often load-driven. Assess the specific demands of the applications being migrated to get specific ROI.
Realize this is your ROI now, but won't be your ROI in the future
You will have new applications, computing technology will change, and the capabilities of your business will grow. Consider how using the cloud will position your company for the future. Today's number may not be as important as tomorrow's.