Three Reasons to Move to the Cloud
Given the amount of attention lavished on cloud computing these days, it’s tempting to dismiss the idea as Silicon Valley’s latest fad. To be sure, the excitement often bubbles over into hype.
The excitement is understandable given the way cloud computing is transforming business processes. Indeed, there are many compelling arguments for why a company should migrate its data assets to the cloud. Let’s take a closer look at my top three.
Instead of buying – and being responsible for servicing – your own servers, cloud computing does away with those up-front capital costs. When businesses move to the cloud, they eliminate large expenditures to buy – often underutilized – IT equipment and can invest the savings in other areas of their operations. Essentially, the cloud replaces the CAPEX component of the current IT infrastructure with a 'pay-as-you-go’ model.
Companies moving to a cloud model can also better leverage resources while realizing improved economies of scale. Management now gets a clearer understanding of what it’s paying for IT since the cloud’s usage-based pricing model means that end-users pay only for the resources that they use. At the same time, virtualization lets the company save on hardware and energy expenses as a single physical computer will be able to host multiple virtual machines. Another cost-containment bonus: Migrating to the cloud removes the expense burden of IT installation and maintenance.
Compare all that with traditional IT environments, which first require that a company invest in and deploy expensive new infrastructure, even if gets used for only a limited time, such as on a software development project that lasts just a few months, or even weeks.
Cloud computing makes it worthwhile to be a renter, not a buyer. Companies can rapidly scale in either direction based on workload volumes and that’s a world of difference from the relatively inflexible way that most IT frameworks get designed. In the pre-cloud era, companies managed peak demand for server access by acquiring more hardware and software, which just wound up getting underutilized during non-peak loads. It was harder to scale up or down in response to shifts in demands for IT resources. It’s just the opposite with cloud services where flexible scalability is built into the system. The upshot: the company can summon the IT services capabilities it needs regardless of demand peaks and troughs.
Agile cloud development:
For almost a decade and a half, agile has been the norm in software product development. The arrival of the cloud has further enhanced agile software development in several important ways, not the least of which is a dramatically speeded up release cycle that’s reduced the time it takes to get new applications from concept into the market.
The elasticity of resources described in the earlier section has helped make this all possible. When the cloud combines with virtualization, developers can tap into a nearly unlimited number of servers. Project teams no longer need to wait for physical servers to become free to carry out their work. This constitutes a boon for software development projects. Companies now test out new ideas at a cadence that would have astounded their predecessors in the pre-Internet era.
This content is underwritten by VMware — and is editorially independent. It is produced in accordance with conventional standards of business journalism.