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The Cost of Going Full-Cloud

  October 21, 2022 | Christopher Sayadian | The Cloud

 

Going Full-Cloud: Is It Right for Your Business?

 

Key takeaways:

More businesses are moving all of their computing operations to the Cloud to take advantage of its many features and efficiencies. However, there are many factors to consider before completely switching over from on-premises technology. Understanding the full scope and impact of the effort is essential. While each business’s needs and situation are unique, some things to consider include:

 

  • Costs associated with sunsetting existing on-premises equipment
  • Forecasting technology expenses
  • Requiring more Cloud services than anticipated
  • Data transfer and uploading costs
  • Premium fees for dedicated Cloud services
  • The need to redesign or refine existing workflows
  • Retraining the IT team or hiring a new one with Cloud expertise
  • Time spent on Cloud planning

 

The mature Cloud offers organizations the ability to eliminate the need to buy and maintain major physical IT infrastructure and only pay for services that they need. Cloud technology also offers benefits like enhanced efficiency and support for remote workers. At Handled, we help many businesses go full-Cloud, but we always take the time to get ask questions and get a holistic view of operations and requirements first—because the answer to “Should my business move everything to the Cloud all at once?” is, “It depends.”

 

When it comes to costs, many Cloud services offer pricing calculators that can help with estimates, but there can be other issues at play that business leaders need to consider. Determining whether to go full-Cloud or continue to use on-premises technology is contingent on many factors—including what a business does, its size, and its goals. Some additional issues to consider include:

 

  • Existing infrastructure. The age of on-premises equipment, contracts for maintenance or leasing, and fees associated with cancellation must be evaluated. The costs invested in current infrastructure may be significant. It may make more sense to revisit Cloud services at a later date or use them only for certain operations.
  • Budget forecasting. Estimating future expenses can be easier with on-premises technology since it’s already bought and paid for. Is the organization willing to adjust to greater uncertainty in this area?
  • Service requirements. While businesses pay only for what they use in the Cloud, the services they need may be more significant than anticipated. Besides a web server and a data server, a testing environment, redundant systems, and a backup may also be required.
  • Data transfer. Transferring large amounts of data to the Cloud can also add to costs. In addition, uploading costs during normal operations tend to be more costly than those to download.
  • Dedicated vs. shared Cloud. Dedicated Cloud infrastructure, which many organizations may require, costs more than the shared equivalent. Does the business need private infrastructure, or is it able to use shared servers?
  • Workflow modification. Some organizations may be able to do a “lift and shift” of processes and procedures into the Cloud environment, but in many cases, those workflows may need to be completely rethought. This may also require changing the organizational infrastructure and training to reskill existing employees. Shifting job responsibilities may also affect the salary structure.
  • IT management. Cloud services still require professionals to connect internal systems to the Cloud and maintain them, manage and update cybersecurity protocols and protections, and more.
  • Planning costs. The effort a Cloud migration requires can include the need to hire outside consultants, determining how data will be moved, what the impact will be on users, and more. This large-scale project can also impact operations by diverting employees from working on other key initiatives and functions. However, effective preparation and management can mitigate these costs.

 

So Who Should Consider Going Full-Cloud?

There are no hard-and-fast rules about what kinds of organizations should go full-Cloud or when. It is usually easier for smaller businesses to transition, and newer businesses can be on it from day one. It also depends on the type of work being done.

 

For example, a copywriting business dealing mainly in text-based documents could easily go full-Cloud, while a marketing agency focusing on video might need in-house infrastructure to ensure employees can quickly upload, download, and manipulate large video data files. Both companies are in the same field, but their needs are very different.

 

To effectively assess whether an organization should go full-Cloud, leaders need to determine what it wants to accomplish (both short- and long-term), what Cloud functions and capacity it needs to meet those goals, and the associated costs. If the costs are significant, or if budget forecasting is a factor, then leaders need to weigh the benefits as well as the risks. In some cases, a hybrid approach or phasing in Cloud services over time to replace on-premises technology may be the best solution.

 

It can be challenging for business leaders to figure out the best approach to Cloud on their own. If your organization needs clarity on the total costs or other insights associated with migrating to the Cloud, Handled is here to help. Contact us to get started.

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