19 August 2011 16:37:41
While most experts see security as the biggest concern in IT departments when considering transitioning to cloud computing, cost management has also proven to be a potential difficulty. Because of the technology's limited tenure in the private sector, business executives have had trouble nailing down hard numbers for the services.
Computer World recently published an article assessing the potential costs of transitioning IT operations to the cloud, as well as management of the technology once it is established. The key to a successful and financially efficient transition, the website affirms, is knowing the expenses that may accrue during the process. One example is online application integration from different cloud-service providers.
According to the source, some companies have met the cloud with frustration as a result of wanting different services from multiple providers. "Integration between [these applications] in the cloud, at least the last time we looked, wasn't there," Mike O'Dell, chief information officer of Pacific Coast Building Products, stated. The article notes how many of these unexpected costs are more apparent for public cloud use.
The source asserts integration will improve as cloud technology matures, but for now, businesses considering switching to the new IT service should keep a close eye on integration fees, and work with providers to find the best and least expensive solution.
In addition to these costs, the process of data transfer and storage can be expensive for a business that does not pay close attention to the provider's terms. "People think there are no labor costs, but as you scale up [to] handle the workload, there's a complexity with managing large numbers of cloud instances, just like managing a large number of servers," WhitePages, Inc. director of IT Hernan Alvarez stated. Though the price, Alvarez adds, is "only an unexpected cost if you don't fully comprehend the cloud model."
While unexpected costs are certainly a factor to keep in mind when shopping for a cloud provider, experts believe many of these problems will continue to subside as the industry grows and gains experience. The cloud, according to the International Data Corporation, was only a $3.8 billion industry with 600,000 units a year ago, while it is expected to come close to double those numbers within the next three years.
Many businesses, as well as government departments and organizations, have success and save money when they move traditional IT departments to the cloud.
-McAfee Cloud Security