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Cloud Computing As A Strategic Economic Tool: Rising to the Challenge

The current recession has made enterprises around the globe take a long hard look at the way they are doing business and forced many of them to revisit their core principles about how they manage IT. In particular, they are considering cloud computing as a viable IT services delivery model — primarily for cost reasons.

With the uncertain economic times requiring many businesses to severely curtail IT budgets, outsourcing their IT operations to managed services providers with cloud capabilities in particular, enables companies to dramatically reduce their investments in hardware — hardware that tends to be underutilised — while giving them greater business agility.

Although some economists say that the end of the recession is in sight, interest in cloud computing is not likely to fade. The same reasons that cloud was so attractive during the economic downturn will drive its continued adoption during the recovery.

Companies will continue to need to keep costs down but will also make good use of the other advantages of cloud computing. Take the issue of control. Enterprises like the fact that with cloud computing there’s no need to sign fixed long-term contracts with service providers.

They can make provisioning changes in a much more timely way and have visibility into operations with custom dashboards and monitoring tools that integrate with existing inhouse IT management tools through application programming interfaces (APIs).

But not everyone seems to be connecting the dots. One of the most interesting results of the independent survey we performed in early 2009 with Heads of IT in global enterprises is that respondents answered questions about their IT needs in ways that pointed directly to cloud computing as the optimal IT services delivery model.

Yet these very sophisticated respondents did not always seem to comprehend that cloud computing was the solution they sought. Many of them were unsure what cloud computing was, even as they were very clear about what their business required by way of support from their IT organisations.

Cloud computing services can make an immediate impact on almost every facet of your business. Whether it’s the substantial cost reductions realised by purchasing cloud instances rather than physical servers to address growth; the speed and efficiency gained from being able to provision new operating systems through our secure customer portal; or the convenience of short-term and flexible business terms for additional operating system instances.