Cloud computing may not save you money - but here's why it's still worth it

Opinion

Cloud computing may not save you money - but here's why it's still worth it

pic Ewen Anderson_001.jpg
The cloud won't necessarily save you money, warns Ewen Anderson, managing director at consultancy  Centralis  whose partners include luminaries such as  App DNA AppSense , Citrix , Microsoft , VMware  and  Liquidware Labs .
                
Things we probably don't know about cloud computing
It is unlikely to save money on whatever your company is doing now, writes Anderson. It is not a simple business case, there are a lot of different factors to consider.
                                                                                          
What questions should we ask about ourselves in preparation for cloud computing
To actually put everything into the cloud is way beyond what most organisations are willing to consider or prepared to deliver. So the question is: what do you move into the cloud and how are you going to manage an environment that is delivered 90 per cent from the data centre and 10 per cent from the cloud?

Why am I thinking about moving into the cloud at all? Do these needs lend themselves more to a private/public/hybrid cloud set up?
 
What are the security implications of cloud services? 
 
When applications and data is split between two separate physical locations there is a real issue around how the integrity of data and performance of systems is likely to be impacted. The chief concern comes around where data in the cloud is stored. Many organisations, particularly financial services organisations, have very strict compliance regulations about where data  is stored and who has access to it, and this comes down to which country your data is stored in.   

So concerns are on two levels - firstly what is the degree of interaction between your data and systems and where are those systems and data so you know where and how that data is being stored.
 
A private cloud is your own provisioned data centre so this is the most secure option if you can afford it.

This was first published in March 2011

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