The cloud can be leveraged to save money in a number of areas of the business. Should businesses look to it as a way to streamline their IT budget?
Cloud computing has come a long way. There were times when most people couldn’t wrap their heads around the concept of the cloud. Now, it is so ubiquitous that many people are using it without even realising. Many businesses around the world have begun integrating cloud computing into their IT strategies to make their infrastructure more future-proof, flexible, and cost-effective. We reached out to a London-based managed IT support company, TechQuarters, about the cloud, as its ability to save organisations money. According to them, the cloud enables businesses to eliminate certain expenses, as well as improving the return on other investments. Having provided IT support for accountants, and many other types of organisations, they gave us some examples of this.
Public Cloud Computing
We asked TechQuarters about how businesses can leverage the cloud, and they said that the most common way is through a public cloud. This is a cloud that is built and maintained by another company. For example, Microsoft have their own cloud platform that TechQuarters not only uses, but also has migrated many of their clients onto. The benefit of a public cloud is that businesses don’t need to manage it themselves, and economies of scale allow businesses to access the cloud resources at a good price. So, what are some of the key cost-saving benefits of cloud computing?
- Infrastructure Efficiency
One of the best things about the cloud is that it is more efficient that an on-premises, server-based infrastructure. For instance, TechQuarters has provided IT support for Schools, and found that if these businesses were to use a server-based infrastructure, they would need to account for fluctuations in usage (such as when they have more or less students using their network at a given time), and possible even growth in demand in-line with organisational growth. In other words, they would need to purchase more hardware and software than they actively need.
- Utilities Savings
Another cost that comes with having on-premises infrastructure is the utilities needed to power it. This can make up quite a significant portion of a business’ IT budget – because not only do servers need a significant amount of power, but they also need to be powered for long periods of time (even 24/7). On the other hand, cloud platforms are run on massive data centres that are not only more energy efficient, but cheaper (once again, due to economies of scale). This means that, not only are businesses making savings by eliminating the need for servers but are also getting savings passed onto them by the cloud provider.
- Get More from IT Staff
When businesses keep their IT infrastructure in-house, then much of the work of the IT department must be dedicated to monitoring and maintaining the infrastructure. This means that they have less time to dedicate to other things, such as projects. On the other hand, cloud infrastructures can be automated to a much higher degree, and are comparatively much easier to manage, in any case. Having provided outsourced IT support London businesses have used for over a decade, TechQuarters has seen the way that cloud computing can free up the time of organisation’s IT staff, allowing them to focus on higher value work than simple IT maintenance.
- Eliminate Upfront Costs
A major way that cloud computing helps businesses cut costs is by eliminating the need for upfront costs. This works in two major ways:
- Hardware – Firstly, cloud computing negates the need for hardware infrastructure like servers. Therefore, businesses no longer need to worry about spending money on infrastructure hardware.
- Software – Cloud applications work on a Software as a Service (SaaS) This means that you pay to access the software, as opposed to paying up front for a copy of the software. The other benefit of this is that the cost of upgrades is factored into the monthly bill with cloud software.