Somewhere deep in their psyche, every CIO is aware of the tangible and intangible benefits which cloud brings to the table. It helps organizations to start small, execute big and scale hassle free. Measurement of the money saved does not always appear in straight currency, as cloud rescues organizations from overheads which could otherwise be consuming innumerable valuable resources.
The point here is that CIOs and CXOs can indeed save money using cloud. At least mid-size firms can and should over time reduce their dependence on the in-house server rooms which are unaffordable to own, maintain, upgrade and service. Countering the cost-saving argument cannot be a desirable move in an organizational set-up which has to compete against the mighty global counterparts.
A Step Back in Time
In the previous decade, when the talks around cloud began, cost saving was the biggest crowd-puller. CIOs and IT heads would huddle up to listen to the conversations by IT companies which wanted to sell their traditional ERPs, CRMs, SCMs or just any other application. At that time, cloud was a buzzword to enhance software sales. Nevertheless, in no time this sales trick was picked up. But we should not forget that cloud was in its infancy in those days. Traditional enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, SCM, BI, etc) were not ready for it as they were designed to function in the on-premise environment.
Today cloud has achieved maturity and is evolving constantly. Service providers and software companies have come a long way by making their apps to work much better than earlier in a hosted environment. This is the reason that CIOs need to consciously deliberate on embarking the cloud bandwagon.
Pay Heed To The Indirect Expenses
Cloud has radically changed the entire IT landscape in last few years. Exponential boom in the emerging businesses, especially the internet and mobile-based startups, testifies this. Global companies such as Uber, Netflix and inMobi have further proved the power of cloud. Due to them, we have witnessed the traditional businesses squirming. These new-age players have demonstrated how from a third-party data center they can unleash havoc on their competitors which at one time ruled the world. Because of their cloud-based products, many of them have reached out to every customer – big, small or prospective – in the quickest way possible.
This does not mean that your current IT set-up is inefficient or useless. But as a CIO, it is important for you to realize that cloud can expedite the growth of your organization. CIOs can convince their CEOs and the management to eventually and gradually move to the cloud. It would allow them to handle existing customers in a better way. With traditional IT around, maximum energy is squandered in keeping the networks up and running. Many of the customer complaints thus remain unaddressed as your time is spent in handling the systems. In today’s hyper-active world, it can result in an obvious business loss. The competition takes advantage of such situations and can steal your customers.
In addition, when your organization decides to move to cloud step by step, it can easily do away with unnecessary layers. The focus can be increased on the crux of your business rather than spending precious manual hours on handling the server rooms.
Mid-tier companies can start slow and leverage cloud as they envision their growth. It saves them from spending upfront.
Cloud To Further Become Safer
It is often feared that cloud-run companies are vulnerable to cyber attacks. This argument holds true, as cloud-based businesses from time to time have faced more attacks than those in the on-premise mode. All of us have read about Ashley Madison, Sony Pictures, JP Morgan Chase, Ebay, Adobe, Heartland, and RockYou, to name a few. But this is just one side of the coin. These were the cases that surfaced in the media. On-premise enterprise networks have equally been compromised. KPMG also agrees that cloud would be more secure in the future. The rise of trusted cloud providers will help cloud to become safer gradually.
This leads to the question as to who should be your cloud provider. As a CIO, it is important that you evaluate your requirements and choose a cloud-provider which becomes partner in your growth. If your cloud provider meets all the data security requirements (regulatory), the risk of cyber attacks in your network would be minimal.
And security is a challenge not limited to cloud. A global study testifies this fact. It believes that loopholes in the system often lead to security issues. Gartner states that by 2020, 95% of cloud security breaches will be the customer’s fault—that is, not the result of vulnerability in the cloud technology itself.
Cloud Means Affordability
Cloud can be a game-changer, particularly for mid-size firms. As argued earlier, the costs of investing in hardware, servicing complex networks and buying software licenses is a daunting task. Cloud takes away all of this.
Secondly, cloud increases the efficiency of your team. According to a research by Float, cloud can save a business about 10 hours a month. This time can be utilized in innovating and finding ways to steer ahead of the competition.
Earlier, interoperability was a huge challenge. But as the cloud is evolving, interoperability issues are getting addressed. Most cloud providers claim to offer hassle-free data transfer. However, it is good to ensure this at the time of signing the contract.
In a nut-shell, CIOs can begin their cloud journey with small steps. They can gradually move their apps one-by-one into the cloud environment. It will allow them to realize the benefits and hence evaluate the cost over time.