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December 14, 2013

Is there really business value in cloud computing?

Is there really business value in cloud computing?

By definition, a stampede is a mass impulse that encourages a group of people or animals to run with no clear direction or purpose. A situation of this nature can often cause damage. Without a common understanding or goal, it can be challenging to ensure the safety of each individual.

The same concept applies to the enterprise environment. In many ways, the emergence and rapid popularisation of cloud computing encouraged a mass impulse that has witnessed thousands of organisations scrambling to invest in these solutions.

Despite this, the business value underlying many popular cloud platforms is still questionable.

Does it really pay to view IT spend as an operating expense, as opposed to a long-term investment? Despite the current spotlight on cloud services many organisations remain content with on premise systems that are tailored to their unique needs.

Nonetheless, thousands of micro business cloud solutions exist to service this growing sector. Naturally, the draw of shorter sales cycles and limited technical experience is enticing to any sales professional seeking to conclude a deal.

Unfortunately, many of these cloud-enabled platforms are accompanied by significant implementation, connectivity and maintenance costs – overheads that could potentially cripple an emerging business.

Furthermore, there is a lack of consensus within the industry on what cloud really means. All too often, public cloud services are simply old technologies dressed up in a new disguise. With this in mind, the value associated with paying monthly subscription costs for a solution that can easily be replicated within the business is dubious.

Finally, unlike more established sectors such as finance or insurance – which are typically managed by strict legislation and corporate governance – the cloud environment is highly unregulated. In response, many public cloud services do not accept responsibility in the event of data loss or downtime.

Such an event could prove absolutely catastrophic for any enterprise – especially those that rely on leveraging information for return.

Although cloud computing holds significant potential for the streamlining of daily business process, it is vital that investors maintain perspective on this fledgling sector. Regrettably, many providers are selling seemingly groundbreaking cloud solutions based on hype and fear, rather than tangible business needs or empirical evidence.

As this environment evolves, we believe that it would be prudent to opt for a private cloud solution that closely integrates with on premise technology – giving businesses greater control and access to data. Decision makers should also strongly consider the implications of positioning critical information in the cloud. If it’s essential to your bottom line, keep it on premise and secure

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