While organization leaders recognize cloud’s ability to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), they often have difficulty evaluating the many other business benefits of cloud. Often this process is based on some combination of gut instinct and hard data. But the more quantifiable the data, the easier the decision; and the more the potential benefits can be sized, the clearer the opportunity. Since the process of embracing the cloud may be done in increments or by degrees, decision makers will want to weigh which aspects of their operation should be migrated to the cloud—or clouds—and what return on investment to expect from the decision.
Cisco IBSG has developed a simple-to-use, interactive tool to simplify the process of measuring the economic impact of cloud for a given organization. It enables decision makers to input different values based on the size and needs of their organization. The output is a solid projection of what the cloud will do for their organization, including potential benefits like lower TCO, faster provisioning of new capabilities, greater security, and improved integration of collaboration and overall agility.
Cisco IBSG also recommends looking at processes, applications, and services that are core versus contextual, and mission-critical versus non-mission-critical. Such parsing can help any company begin the process by clarifying the obvious and no-so-obvious candidates for early migration to the cloud. Contextual, non-mission-critical processes and applications may be the first candidates for migration.
Information about employee benefits, for example, might be deemed non-mission-critical, and may be an early candidate for cloud. Other capabilities might be steered toward temporary “rental” on the public cloud. For example, a massive application testing process that might take days on company servers would require only hours on a public-cloud infrastructure.
On the other hand, a bank’s low-latency trading platform—crucial to the everyday workings of the organization and demanding the highest security—might be the last to go. And since privacy is at a premium for such high-risk data, it would most likely wind up residing within a carefully conceived, private-cloud architecture.
Similarly, a proprietary application, such as one tailored for a company’s specific accounting needs, might be too customized for a public cloud’s services, which might be geared for more standard accounting needs. This too, would not be a candidate for immediate migration to the public cloud.
In any case, migration to the cloud does not have to be a daunting, anxious process. It can be done in increments, beginning with the most obvious choices and ending with the most proprietary and security-sensitive applications and services.
The Cisco Private Cloud Benefits Calculator can ease this transition, providing a useful tool for measuring the likely benefits of cloud based on an organization’s size and needs.