Cost of the cloud: Your main areas of research

If you are to believe the headlines, it’s understood that 83% of enterprise workloads will be using a cloud system by 2020.

This is a huge number, and hardly surprising when one considers all of the benefits that clouds offer. A lot of these advantages are described financially – and some companies purely make the move in a bid to improve their P&L sheet.

However, there can be occasions where moves are not going to benefit your company financially. Today, we are going to mull over some of the main areas you need to research before you take the plunge and invest in a full cloud-based system.

The small issue of capital expenses

Firstly, one of the big reasons why a lot of people switch to the cloud is because of the lower capital expenses. After all, in the past you will have probably been turning to a costly, in-house server system that required huge amounts of up-front investment.

Well, don’t immediately assume that the opposite will occur with the cloud. Sure, it quite often does, and it most probably will be lower, but understand this from the outset.

Sometimes, the cost of migration might be so high that actually, it may even be better to stick with your currently provider.

Next, operating expenses…

Unsurprisingly, the next item on the agenda are operating expenses. This is where the cloud, and services like UKCloud, really tend to come into their own. The fact that businesses can scale up or down their service depending on their needs usually means that the operating expenses are much lower than you will have ever been used to. In other words, you will only be paying for what you really need – not what you might have only needed in the peak trading time for your company.

Again, it’s not set in stone though, and you also need to be researching the cost of upscaling or downgrading your service if the need arises.

What is the billing model?

This next question is very similar to above, but you still need to understand the exact manner in which you are going to be billed for your cloud usage.

Is it going to be in the form of a utility model (i.e., pay-per-use), or is your provider going to suggest something different? This can make a monumental difference to the benefits that a cloud provider can offer, so make sure you understand it from top to bottom.

What about additional services like cloud bursting?

As you might expect, cloud services are no ordinary beasts. They have a whole host of additional features, all of which can play with your final cost.

One such feature is cloud bursting. This effectively results in your service moving from a private cloud, to a public one, if your demand reaches 100% of your capacity. The benefit of this is that your service won’t be disrupted but ultimately, you need to be asking at what financial cost. Small issues like this can really make a difference to your total operating cost for the cloud – so make sure you know this information like the back of your hand.

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