As we crawl our way out of the recession those who are still left standing know the financial scars they’ve been left with will take a very long time to heal. At the same time organizations are also facing increasing pressure to become more and more environmentally conscious. There aren’t many solutions that can answer both these demands, to save money and save the planet. Cloud computing is a great way to reduce your IT costs, increase business efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.
The first obvious advantage of cloud computing is the reduction in costs. The biggest saving you’re going to make is the cost of ownership. One reason cloud computing is so popular is because you’re only paying for what you’re actually using. In a traditional infrastructure environment you may have a lot of sever space you’re not even using; it still needs to be there because you might need it tomorrow or next week but for now it’s sitting there unused. The scale up and scale down in a cloud environment is instant, if you need more server space now it’s there waiting for you but if you’re not using it you don’t have to pay for it.
The second saving you’re going to make is going to be in the energy you’re paying for. Data centers take up a lot of power, both in the power they’re consuming just to run and the power they’re consuming to stay cool. Cooling a data center isn’t easy, you’re blasting cold air aimed at the servers to stop them overheating. The harder they’re working and the older they are the hotter they become and blasting this cold air into this warm room is very energy consuming. By migrating to cloud hosting you’ve completely eliminated the need for the data center in the first place. You no longer have to pay for the energy to power the servers and you do not have to pay for the energy to keep them cool. This saving alone is often enough to justify migrating to the cloud in many organizations.
This reduction in energy costs is also enough to justify cloud computing as an eco solution too. An example of this could be the Carbon Reduction Commitment in the UK. This means that every business that used more the one million pounds worth of electric in 2008 must publically declare their current energy consumption. This will directly affect business reputation regardless of where in the world you’re based. Making the conscious effort to operate in a more environmentally friendly manor will reflect well on your business and benefit your business reputation.
Lastly you’ve got the increase cloud can bring in business productivity. Operating in the cloud means everything can expand instantly. An example of this could be a web farm, if you’re running an ecommerce website that’s expecting a lot of traffic from a marketing campaign you know that the servers can cope with an increase of say a few hundred visitors to hundreds of thousands instantly without falling over.