Cloud computing and business

How will cloud computing change the way we work? Stephen Pritchard explores...

Spreading the costs

An ability to respond quickly to changing business needs is an important reason for companies to adopt the cloud, even where they run cloud computing alongside conventional, internal IT resources. But cloud computing also offers companies a significant financial advantage, but one that also goes beyond simple cost reductions.

Cloud computing gives businesses a way to avoid the need for up-front expenditure on hardware, software, and installation services. In particular, the ability to avoid capital expenditure, and to move instead to an operating expense model for IT, is very attractive to finance directors.

At the same time, the way that cloud computing allows a degree of capacity or consumption-based pricing makes it an effective option for businesses with unpredictable, variable or seasonal IT workloads, as well as for short-term projects.

"In the last couple of years, because everybody has been scrutinising the last pound they spend, a solution that is theoretically cheaper is a no brainer. Its absolutely driven by a cost decision," says Gartner's Pring.

Costs, and how those costs are met, are high up the agenda for businesses that are already using cloud computing in their daily operations.

"We opted for cloud computing on a remote server hosted in the Melborne data centre, another tenant on Manchester Science Parks where we are based," explains Simon Talbot, managing director of Ground Gas Solutions, a specialist environmental consultancy.

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