These days, it’s hard to argue against a technology as innovative and valuable as the cloud. The market has continued to reflect rising adoption rates as businesses increasingly realize the benefits that such a system can offer. In fact, a recent report from Gartner estimated that the global cloud market – valued at $175 billion in 2015 – will continue its expansion for the next three years, with a compound annual growth rate of 23 to 27 percent during that time.
As the cloud continues to gain an increasing number of users, managers looking to deploy this technology within their businesses must ensure that they can prove the value and advantages that it can offer. Building a proper business case requires specific consideration, but when carried out effectively, can illustrate all the ways the cloud can empower the enterprise.
What Should You do if the ROI isn’t Enough?
Although return on investment is one of the most-cited arguments for a cloud business case, InfoWorld contributor David Linthicum pointed out that this sometimes isn’t enough to convince decision-makers. When this occurs, it is helpful to bring up other advantages, including:
1) Enhanced security: Improved data protection is another popular reason for adopting the cloud. Linthicum pointed out that some of the largest-scale breaches to take place recently, including one involving the federal government, did not take place within the cloud.
“Although you would think that clouds are the common targets of hackers, in many respects clouds are locked up tighter with modern security,” Linthicum wrote. “Hackers move on to easier targets.” In this way, the cloud can serve as a deterrent to cybercriminals who will likely go after lower hanging fruit.
2) Improved performance: Cloud technology also leverages specific strategies to offer enhanced application performance, providing a better end-user experience for staff members. Network speed and caching allow for more responsive performance, and the cloud’s inherent scalability helps ensure that growing infrastructures are continually supported.
3) Mitigated vendor lock-in: Linthicum noted that many organizations that are hesitant to adopt the cloud fear vendor lock-in, where they are unable to leverage the latest technologies due to their agreement with a service provider. However, the cloud provides a high level of flexibility, and many companies now utilize a “lift and shift” approach to prevent lock-in. This strategy leverages a public cloud-based platform analog that allows users to move data and content from one cloud to another, or back to the data center.
Balancing Risk and Reward
A business case wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t balance the rewards with the potential risks. Tom’s IT Pro contributor William Freedman advised decision-makers to perform the necessary calculations to ensure a full understanding of what the system will cost depending on current and future demands. In addition, managers should also examine their available service providers to determine the level of protection, flexibility and scalability that can be achieved with each. This will help the business make an informed decision and select the best cloud environment for its needs.
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