10 Ways to Measure Your Cloud Return on Investment (ROI)

Determining your Cloud ROI can be tricky. If you have a multi-office company it’s pretty easy to justify the cost of moving to the cloud. You’ll reduce your maintenance costs, consolidate your storage costs, and eliminate redundant infrastructure by consolidating all of your IT infrastructure in a single datacenter.  But besides less hardware, there are many other ROI factors to consider when moving to the cloud.

Eliminate Hardware Refresh
You can reduce or eliminate the hardware refresh cycle that your company experiences every year. By foregoing new equipment and not going through a trickle-down exercise each year, you eliminate all the extra labor and downtime experienced by staff. This is a pretty obvious savings. In conjunction with eliminating the hardware refresh, you can use extended life devices with the cloud. If you use thin clients or zero clients to connect to the cloud desktops you can easily get 5 to 6 years of service from a single device. That’s with no reduction in capability and little or no maintenance required. Moving to the cloud is going to greatly reduce your annual capital costs. Your IT spend go from a CAPEX (capital expense) model to an OPEX (operating expense) model. You are trading a large capital expenditure for smaller monthly recurring charges in addition to improving your tax liability. By converting most of your expense to an operating cost, your IT costs are fixed and known each month. There are no surprises, like servers that fail and need to be replaced or desktops that break and need to be fixed. Your costs are consistent and fixed each month.

Lower Start Up Costs
To build and maintain your own cloud infrastructure requires a big upfront expenditure.  Using the cloud eliminates that big cost and gets you up and running quickly.  Use an experienced provider.  Advance2000 engineers do several hundred VDI implementations a year.  We know what to expect and what is needed to make your transition to the cloud smooth.  Make sure your provider has the proven expertise to make your implementation a success and get you up and running and productive in your new environment quickly and easily.  You do not want them learning how to do this at your expense. There are economies of scale by moving to the cloud. Power usage and storage are two obvious areas where you can save money by moving to the cloud. Cost of power is borne by the cloud provider and spread over a number of customers. Datacenters buy power at a big discount to run our facilities. Storage is also cheaper to buy in bulk than it would be for an individual firm.  All of these things are very hard, if not impossible, to do when building it yourself.

Access to the Latest Technology
As a cloud provider we are constantly testing and piloting new technology. We have an in-house research and development group that does nothing but find new and better ways to provide cloud-based services to our clients. We spend a lot of time and money testing new technology so that we can constantly maintain our competitive edge. If you were to try and do your own cloud infrastructure it would be very costly both in terms of time and money to do the kind of research and development with new technology that we do. Is that how you want to spend your IT Budget? We work with all of the major virtualization providers and are familiar and expert in all of the technologies that they offer. Very often one technology provider will leapfrog another in terms of capabilities and performance. We provide our clients the ability to switch virtualization vendors as the underlying technology changes. When your infrastructure is in our cloud you can switch and use the latest and greatest technology if it provides a tangible benefit to your organization.  You are not stuck with a single vendor just because that is what you bought. We help our clients respond to the growing needs of software. If your software program requires more memory or a faster processor we can easily and transparently upgrade all of your cloud desktops. We do that without having to go desk to desk, open each computer, upgrade the system, close each computer and disrupt each staff member. If your software requires more processing power we can also add that seamlessly and effortlessly without disruption or interruption to your staff.

Increased Security
The cloud, believe it or not, provides increased security. All of your desktops are in a single zone of control. They’re all housed in a single location on a single domain with single point of access. None of your data is located on premise or on mobile devices, tablets or laptops, so none of your data is accessible anywhere but from within the data center. A stolen laptop or tablet is not a problem if your data is securely housed in our data center. You can spend an infinite amount of money and time on security. By outsourcing to the cloud you decide how much money and how much time you want to spend on security. You decide what’s important and invest your money there and let your cloud provider take care of the rest.

Right Sized Hardware
Using the cloud, you only pay for what you use. As consumers and users of IT technology we’ve become accustomed to buying more than you actually use in anticipation that your needs will grow. For example, when you purchase a server you may purchase it with 3 TB of storage. But today you may only need 500 GB of storage. You end up buying extra storage you don’t use. With the cloud you only buy what you’re going to use. We monitor your storage and when you approach capacity, only then do you purchase more storage. The scalability of cloud storage is going to save you time as well as dollars. Most on-premise storage devices have a limited amount of storage that can be added. With the cloud, data storage is virtually unlimited.

Incremental Growth
When building your own cloud infrastructure you lose the ability to scale incrementally.  When a server has reached capacity, in order to add more users you need to add another server, even if it is for one or two additional users, you need to purchase hardware that will support 20-30 more users.  By outsourcing your cloud needs, you can easily add a single user or add and reduce users each month as your needs change.

Backup, Disaster Recovery, Redundancy
We back up our private cloud infrastructure daily. All of our backups are disk to disk providing fast backup and restore times. In addition to daily backups many clients will also use volume shadow copy snapshots to increase their restore options. They can be safely assured that their staff will not lose any work. Our backup data is mirrored to a second geo-redundant data center. Each one of our data centers is powered from a different grid assuring that any major loss of power will not affect the other data centers. In addition to redundant power and redundant cooling, each of our data centers also has redundant multi-gigabit data connections.

Improved Collaboration
Working in cloud will improve the way your staff collaborates with each other and with outside consultants. By centralizing your data, you are moving your people to the data and not moving the data to the people. Moving data is slow and inefficient, moving screen images is fast. In addition to being faster and more efficient, your have a single location for all your data. No data is copied or duplicated in multiple locations, no data is sent through email or other online sharing systems. There is one place for ALL your data. This results in better document control for your projects and provides a single source of truth.  You can also connect your cloud infrastructure to other firms enabling 100% real-time collaboration between multiple firms working on a same project.  We manage all the connections, the security and provide all the infrastructure to make this possible.  No other company offers this type of seamless collaborative workflow.

Business Focus on the Strategic Use of IT
All technology passes through the cycle of competitive advantage. A new technology is at first a competitive advantage. As the technology ages and is adopted by others, that technology becomes a competitive necessity. Everyone uses it.  As newer technology is introduced the older existing technology becomes a competitive disadvantage and needs to be replaced. Your IT staff spends much of their time replacing older technology to gain that competitive advantage. With cloud infrastructure, your technology is never outdated. We update the technology behind the scenes so that you don’t have to. Your IT staff can focus their attention on the strategic use of technology within your business. Their time is freed from doing the break / fix IT activities and is focused on improving the productivity and efficiency of your staff through the strategic application of technology.  They become proactive contributors to your firm’s success.

Finally, using a datacenter is green. According to a report by the WSP Group, when smaller organizations switch to cloud computing, carbon emissions are likely to be 90% lower, larger companies typically see up to a 30% reduction. Cooling and power are the two greatest costs to run a data center. When a company decides to build their own data center they’re going to pay a premium to cool and power that space. By taking advantage of economies of scale we have greatly reduced our cooling and power costs and needs. Advance2000, for example, uses renewable hydro-electric power and passive cooling to power and cool our datacenters.  We spread this lower cost over all our clients, saving them money and doing it far cheaper than they could do it themselves.

For more information on the advantages of moving to the Cloud and outsourcing your infrastructure needs… CONTACT US

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