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Proper planning key for real cloud savings

When planned well beforehand and deployed in a smart fashion, says one expert, the cloud can make perfect economic sense with few unanticipated expenses.

Jeff Rowe | Sep 04, 2017 12:00 am

Ask a group of CIOs what’s driving their organizations’ move to the cloud, and chances are you’ll hear first and foremost about economies of scale.

But dig a little deeper and you might find a number of those organizations haven’t done the necessary planning, and thus may well not realize the savings they’re after.

In a recent commentary at CIO.com, Marc Wilczek, a digital strategist and CIO advisor, says one often unanticipated problem is that “Cloud users underestimate the amount of their wasted spend. While costs often appear low in the public cloud space at first glance, especially when temporarily using capacity, these costs quickly pile up when occupying resources on a permanent basis.”

In addition, he says, “the fact of the matter is that not all applications and legacy systems are cloud-ready. Parts of the existing landscape on-premise might be more complex and difficult to move than originally anticipated. Companies not thoroughly assessing the landscape and failing to come up with a well-thought-through transition and transformation (T&T) program might all of a sudden find themselves confronted with not being able to keep the project schedule. Consequently, it takes more time and efforts to complete the migration, which can lead to significant cost overruns.”

He cites a 2017 State of the Cloud report from RightScale, a cloud management provider, which found in a global poll of more than 1,000 CIOs and other senior executives than more than half (53 percent) cited cost savings as the top initiative for 2017, but “among mature cloud users, the priority is even higher with 64 percent — inferring that embarking on the journey hasn’t currently paid off as much as expected.”

But as Wilczek sees things, balancing cloud computing and related costs doesn’t have to result “in a love-hate relationship. When planned well beforehand and deployed in a smart fashion, the cloud will make perfect economic sense. This doesn’t just apply for possible cost savings but also — and perhaps even more importantly — for enabling top-line growth.” 

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