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The Basics of Cloud Computing Economics

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

Cloud computing economics can help companies save time and money along with providing multitudes of benefits. Read on to know more.

Back in the pre-cloud computing era, organizations had to invest heavily in the infrastructure, manpower, and training to set up their IT department. This was time-consuming, relatively inflexible, and expensive. With the evolution of cloud computing, this is now the go-to solution for all sorts of companies. Cloud computing economics can help companies save time and money along with providing multitudes of benefits. Many reliable cloud providers usually provide several customized configurations to address the need for all kinds of small or large businesses. Because of this, the return on your technology investment is often high as your business move to the cloud.

However, the economics of cloud computing can be quite complex to understand, as several factors impact your cloud ROI. For example, when choosing the right cloud solution, there are dozens of different configurations to choose from, each one differing in terms of the number of CPU cores, memory, and local storage attached to it. To help you through that, let's look into cloud economics in detail.

What is Cloud Economics?

In the simplest term, the economics of cloud computing deal with the knowledge concerning the principles, costs, and benefits of cloud computing. For any organization to derive the greatest value for the business, it must specifically determine how cloud services can affect IT budget, security and IT infrastructure. There is no hard and fast formula to determine that, it all depends on assessing the costs pertaining to infrastructure, management, staffing need, research and development (R&D), security, and support. All these factors are analyzed to determine if moving to the cloud makes a logical next step forward as per the organization's specific circumstances and needs.

How to Calculate the Cost of Moving to the Cloud?

Now here is where the economics of cloud computing comes into action. Let's take a holistic approach to calculate the cost of cloud computing.

The total cost of ownership

To put the cost of a cloud solution into perspective, you need to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the on-premises first. You can calculate that by figuring out the cost of the equipment you need, the cost of the capital, and the project lifespan of the equipment. You can also include the installation and maintenance costs as well.

Cost of your current data center

That's the first step- to calculate the amount of time, money, and infrastructure required in running your current data center. Once you determine the scope and scale of your current IT infrastructure, it will provide you with the baseline to help you calculate the potential cost of the cloud resources you'll consume and compare it to current cost levels.

To precisely calculate the cost of your current data center, make sure to include all aspects. For example, IT infrastructure consists of hardware and software that can include physical servers, software licenses, maintenance contracts, warranties, supplies, material, spare parts, and anything else that you directly pay for. You need the cost of all these to correctly estimate how much your current IT infrastructure cost. Then there are operational costs as well that include labor, facilities used to house IT hardware, internet connectivity. These operational costs are part of the cost of your data center as well.

Cost of estimated cloud infrastructure

Once the cost of your current data center is determined, you now need to calculate the estimated cost of cloud infrastructure. While cloud pricing can vary depending on a number of factors and can be quite complicated, it depends on your cloud provider to provide a simplified pricing structure that is easier to understand. Alternatively, you can contact your cloud provider of choice for a quote.

Cost of cloud migration execution

The next step is accounting for the costs involved in executing the migration of the IT operations to the cloud. It is determined by the scope of your current IT infrastructure and how much of it you plan on moving to the cloud will be. Moreover, there is a cost involved in integrating and testing apps or even consultation fees.

Additional post-migration cost

Often, many cloud providers require a monthly infrastructure fee to maintain and improve your new cloud environment. Costs such as continuous integration and testing of apps, training, labor, security, and compliance, administration, and others need to be forecasted in order to determine an accurate post-migration budget.

Benefits of Cloud Computing vs. Cost

Cloud computing is about storing and accessing data, programs, and applications you're using over the internet instead of storing and accessing the same thing from your computer's hard drive. Hence, the cost of shifting to the cloud may seem steep but in actuality, maintenance of on-premises infrastructure is more expensive than cloud computing in the long run. Moreover, cloud computing offers the flexibility to scale services to fit the company's needs and customize applications.

In a Nutshell

A move to cloud computing can be a great step towards breaking free of outdated IT practices and the financial constraints it carries. A good cloud computing solution that is compatible with your company can provide a significant return on investment, affording energy, licensing, and administrative costs and it frees up capital and personnel to innovate on new ideas quickly.

However, it's important to approach cloud computing adoption for your company with objectivity. It is always a good idea to thoroughly look into the pros and cons of cloud computing for your company before making the decision. To help you identify great cloud computing opportunities, VEXXHOST can provide you with just the guidance you're looking for. At VEXXHOST, we provide cloud solutions for a multitude of clients worldwide. We provide OpenStack-based clouds, including public clouds and dedicated and highly secure private cloud environments, ensuring utmost security and agility.

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