From why to why not?
There was a time when people were told that everything about the way they measured their world was going to change. There was a different system—a much better one—being used by pretty much everyone else on the planet; and it was time to change the country’s antiquated ways. Inches? They were going to become centimetres. Miles? A thing of the past. Everyone from school children to grandmothers prepared themselves for the change to the metric system—which never came to pass
1. Ongoing hardware costs
A data centre that cost millions to build consumes even more millions for ongoing maintenance, upgrades, power, cooling, administration, and more every year; yet, the fallacy of sunk costs often seduces managers into throwing good money after bad. Cutting the cord on costly data centers can be a painful decision to make; but in many cases, the money devoted to supporting them can be used more productively.
2. Delayed response to disruption
In a world of instant communications and viral markets, the ability to respond rapidly to unforeseen events is essential. New competitors can now spring up overnight, disrupt existing industries, and claim overwhelming market share in months. A surprising proportion of the world’s fastest growing businesses choose cloud solutions to rapidly structure, expand, and scale up operations to seize market positions before slower competitors can respond. Brands such as Pinterest, Foursquare, Etsy™, and Yelp™ all grew to become household names in months, and all of them built their businesses in the cloud. The business value of the cloud’s ability to scale up rapidly is difficult to ignore
3. Barriers to beneficial mergers and acquisitions
In an environment where consolidation happens in the blink of an eye, an increasing number of organizations are being forced to deal with the challenges that mergers and acquisitions present, not the least of which are the hardware, software, and infrastructure that each organization owns. The cloud can offer a safe, efficient, and economical way to avoid disruption, while smoothly folding in new organizations.
4. Insufficient disaster preparedness
We all like to think it will never happen to us, but many organizations that host their own data centers are just one fire or flood away from a potentially irreversible business disruption. Backups help, but they only represent one part of the protection provided by an enterprise-class cloud service provider. Similar to the security issue described above, cloud hosting vendors offer recovery and fail over capabilities that most companies simply cannot match independently. Even if a system fails, a cloud provider generally can restore service quickly at another facility to ensure continuity. Few companies can afford to maintain an IT infrastructure with that level of redundancy.
5. Lagging sustainability
The pressure for organizations to reduce their environmental footprints is growing, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to justify the heating, cooling, power, space, and resource demands of data centres when their solutions could easily live in the cloud. Cloud hosts can optimize resource consumption by virtue of greater scale, and then reduce the impact even more by spreading it across hundreds of customers. Moving on-premise solutions to the cloud is a quick and economical way to save money, while showing significant, measurable improvements in environmental sustainability.
Cloud solutions offer an average payback period of 7.1 months and 5-year average ROI of 626%, a level that few other investments can equal.