Magical. Mysterious. Nebulous. So pervasive in the IT world that Google parodied it for an April Fools day in 2015:
This is the world's first cloud offering running on servers located in the troposphere, inside actual clouds.Google Actual Cloud on Youtube
Parodies aside, we talk a lot about the cloud because there can be significant reasons to use it. A good use of cloud based technology can help your company be more:
Scale up or down to meet IT demands. Run leaner. Fluctuate your service level to meet seasonal or other predictable market fluctuations.
Let the cloud provider worry about keeping equipment up to date. Take advantage of their 24/7 monitoring service. Let them do the backups that always seem to get forgotten in-house.
Reduce your in-house energy consumption. Minimize over-provisioning hardware to guard against future growth. Optimize in-house desk and server space.
Good stuff, right? But like any technology, a cloud-based service isn't a silver bullet for every challenge you face as a business.
Here are three recommendations for working up a compelling business case for a cloud solution.
Running your applications in the cloud can help you solve problems that would be hard or impossible to do locally. Just a few, for example:
Maybe you don't have any of those problems! However, AWS and Azure have a gigantic feature list nowadays that keeps getting bigger and bigger. Make sure you take a stroll through all of their offerings to see if there's something they offer that could make your life a lot easier.
Hard costs of servers and staffing are easy to document. Look deeper. What costs do the inefficiencies have?
Every hour of labor has direct costs to the company in terms of salary, healthcare, etc. But every hour of labor spent also has an opportunity cost. The opportunity cost is what you aren't doing because of what you are doing. If you spend time doing task A, you aren't doing task B. Task B is the opportunity cost.
Every hour spent applying patches and updates to an existing server is an hour not spent planning for future upgrades or migrations.
Other non-obvious costs include:
Have you ever heard the saying:
When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Have more than a hammer.
Do the research, define the challenge you are seeing, and determine the best way to solve it.
Choosing technology to solve business challenges is tough. It's also something we're pretty good at. If you want our help give us a shout.
Mike Rosack has been working in the Appleton Omni office for almost five years as a Software Engineer. He specializes in .NET development, but for some reason in 2005 he wasted $150 on a Sun Certified Developer certificate. Mike grew up in Florida, went to school in Georgia (go Yellow Jackets), and has lived in Wisconsin for the past 10 years. At home, Mike enjoys not working, not mowing the lawn, and watching football and playing video games - basically anything that minimizes his caloric burn.
Omni Resources is a premier custom software development firm focused on building web-based & mobile applications, business process automation and data management solutions for manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, retail and SaaS companies.