There is a reason why Cloud solutions are becoming part of most organizations’ IT strategy. The benefits that cloud solutions bring to the table seem to be so obvious that everybody is talking about it, but when it comes to implementing it in your own organization you still need to present a compelling case for such a disruptive move. Here are some options you can include in your conversation when it comes to the ROI of Cloud Solutions:
[big_title2]Return of Investment (ROI) of Cloud Solutions:[/big_title2]
- Less burden on IT: this is a given and we can break it down into a couple of items:
- Upgrades: the entire process is delegated to the cloud vendor and it becomes transparent to the organization.
- System Availability: this is usually a big one for IT, especially when you think about backups, disaster recovery options and the teams (Basis, DBA, etc.) involved when something goes wrong.
This ROI might depend on the Cloud Solution, if we are talking about software-as-a-service (SaaS) is more applicable than platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
- Opportunity for innovation: many users think that moving to a Cloud Solution is just taking what you have on premise and moving it to the Cloud. We have mentioned many times this is not the idea. Cloud Solutions bring a huge advantage when it comes to innovation, and they can evolve at a pace that on premise solutions just can’t. And this includes features as well as infrastructure for scalability. Imagine a Cloud vendor that merges/acquires/partners with other vendor(s) and within a short period of time that full integration could be available for you.
- Maintenance Cost: many software vendors have an annual maintenance and support contract that includes a support line as well as the release of upgrades and patches. When it comes to SaaS, most of the time this cost becomes part of the subscription fee. Make sure you include this in your calculations when checking the ROI of your Cloud Solution.
- Acquisition and preparation time: when it comes to on premise solutions, the time that it takes to acquire, prepare infrastructure, and initial set-up of the application could take months. When it comes to Cloud Solutions you can get up and running within days, sometimes minutes (depending on the cost and internal procurement processes of course). This is a difficult one to include in your ROI study but think about how many times you need to make sure an application is ready before the start of the fiscal year and you need to reduce scope because lack of time?
- Try it before you buy it: many Cloud vendors offer the option to interact with the solution before you acquire it. This could also happen with on premise solutions, but it typically involves more time or the customer committing to putting together the infrastructure to run the test. Being able to quickly test and evaluate a solution can be key in the selection process.
- Security: yes, security is on this list as an ROI for Cloud Solutions, not as a Risk. As software vendors get more customers from different industries, countries, etc. they need to comply with so many different protocols (and include those in their Service Level Agreements) that at the end, many of them become more secure than your regular on premise infrastructure.
There are many other items that you could include in your calculations as ROI of Cloud Solutions, but I just wanted to provide some basics to get the conversation started.
When you evaluate your Cloud Solution you need to think about the future, and also the opportunities to improve and innovate as you make your move.