How subtle changes to the cloud can save companies millions a year?
By Kamal Jacob
Cloud technologies have changed the IT landscape in the last decade and opened the doors not only for large organizations but for small businesses as well. Lots of small businesses have been able to scale up on par or even go on top of the leading businesses in the industry. Cloud helps businesses offload a lot of their burden and focus on expediting the growth of the business. Given the success stories with cloud implementations around the world, most business owners are well aware of the benefits that the cloud offers to the business.
Below are the top 5 benefits the cloud has to offer the businesses and how leading organizations save $$$ every year on their costs by implementing cloud technologies.
With the cloud, data sharing is effortless with anytime access to data from anywhere. When on the move, all you need is an internet connection to access the data. Cloud increases collaboration especially across diverse teams where people want to share content and work on it simultaneously. It’s as simple as uploading the content to the cloud and sharing a link, which the remote team can access the content. This eliminates the need for sending data through email or storing them on physical storages.
Rackspace, the world’s leading managed cloud services provider took advantage of Microsoft’s Office 365 to achieve collaboration among 6,000 employees across diverse locations and business units. Prior to this implementation, the employees used different collaboration tools. They retired all the collaboration tools and opted for Microsoft’s enterprise-grade offering – Office 365. As a result of this implementation, in addition to time savings, Rackspace saved almost $411,000 in annual licensing costs. The team at Rackspace moved 11 million files consisting of 27 terabytes of data into OneDrive, and also use SharePoint and Exchange Online for collaboration.
Reduced Hardware, Labour and Maintenance Costs
Moving workload to the cloud means companies only need very few on-premise servers. This means lesser hardware to maintain, lesser firmware and patch upgrades, costs saved on software licensing and upgrades, and fewer IT staff needed to manage the operations. This gives the business the opportunity to move the remaining workforce to other verticals in the organization that will improve the organization’s growth and business. Though you still need to pay the cloud vendor for the services offered, costs accrued are definitely smaller than the costs in setting up an in-house infrastructure.
Cloud helps Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) with an increased budget as they can opt for subscription periods at their convenience (monthly, annual or pay-as-you-go). This also gives the businesses the ability to scale their workloads when demand increases, and later scale down during the lean periods.
Dow Jones, the New-York based global provider of news and content across different mediums like newspapers, websites, apps, radio and so on, migrated their workloads to AWS in an effort to build more applications and generate more revenue and reduce data center maintenance costs. Dow Jones migrated almost 75% of their workloads from the local facility to AWS, leaving them with just 6 data centers. As a result of this migration, Dow Jones’ rate of product development has increased by about 30%. Dow Jones also realizes a cost savings of 25% (almost more than $40,000) per year.
Increased Workforce Productivity
With workloads in the cloud, software deployment times are faster than conventional IT software installations. Within a matter of a few hours, deployments can be completed on to a cloud platform. This saves valuable time of the engineers. Faster deployments, driving better results and reduced expense delivers the much needed competitive advantage for your business and increased revenue.
With modern cloud vendors offering five 9’s availability, businesses need not worry about the server uptime as it’s the responsibility of the cloud vendors. Moreover, with the data in the cloud available anytime, employees can easily access the data even if they are on the move between different workplaces.
Advocate Health Care, Illinois wanted to introduce the best technology to help their team deliver the best patient care and promote better teamwork and efficiency amongst the staff. Their obvious choice was to adopt Microsoft’s Office 365. After the implementation of the Office 365 subscription, Advocate Health Care enjoy a 3-year, risk adjusted ROI of 63 percent. This saves them the U.S. $53.8 million from their information worker productivity gains alone and saves two million worker hours over three years. Office 365 has made it easier for the team to work together and efficiently. Physicians no longer have to travel to see their patients – with Skype for Business, things have become easier for the staff. On the whole, Office 365 sets a high standard of care at Advocate Health Care and fosters improved patient care.
Improved Data Security and Backup
Security is the most key aspect in every business owner’s mind when migrating to the cloud. With data on the cloud, businesses no longer have to worry about manual backups as everything is automated and can rest assured about the safety of their data. In case of any disaster or mishaps, the latest versions of the data can be easily retrieved from the cloud and the business can continue to be functional without any disruptions.
It’s important for businesses to choose the right cloud vendor who can assure the safety of the data in a remote data center or, even better, a geo-redundant backup that will save your data across multiple data centers in different geographical locations. This automatically improves the security of critical business data.
Orbis Financial, the Indian based finance services vendor, offers customers with customized reports about their investments. The management at Orbis Financial wanted to improve the performance of their IT infrastructure and also reduce the costs in backing up and archiving data from UAT to secondary on-premises. Orbis moved their UAT and data backups to AWS cloud since it offered them the highest level of data security for their data. The UAT application runs on Amazon EC2 while the client data is stored in the Amazon RDS. Regular backup of the UAT environment is taken to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). By switching to the cloud, Orbis Financial has reduced the amount spent for backup and archival per gigabyte by almost 70 percent.
The shift from a CapEx to an OpEx model
Cloud offers tremendous flexibility for businesses to switch from the traditional Capital Expense (CapEx) to a more suitable Operating Expense (OpEx) model. Since the cloud vendor takes care of providing the hardware and maintaining it, businesses save $$$ from investing in on-premise real-estate, buying the necessary hardware, and the cost of maintaining the setup. On the other hand, companies don’t have to buy software or are forced to pay high licensing costs. The cloud takes away all these expenses and businesses have to pay only for what they use in the cloud infrastructure. Another huge advantage with the cloud is that businesses can opt to scale up or scale down at their convenience based on the demand.
Global Blue is a travel-service used by over 55,000 travelers and has been in the business for over three decades. Global Blue wanted to have an efficient way to track the transactions between travelers, merchants and the banks to develop more Business Intelligence and grow their business. They chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) which increased their scalability for multiple workloads. As a part of the cloud migration strategy, Global Blue also reduced almost $800,000 as CapEx costs and $78,000 as OpEx costs.
Cloud computing has invariably become the choice of technology for businesses of different sizes. Moving to the cloud encourages businesses to free themselves from unwanted costs of maintaining an on-premise data center, and also focus on growing the business. While the above examples show how businesses realized savings by moving to the cloud, it doesn’t stop with these specific industries. Both large and small businesses and even government agencies are taking the step forward to migrate to the cloud and take advantage of the offerings. Want to learn how AWS can help you to provision your IT services in a cost-effective fashion and use the different AWS services? Check out our Cloud Computing with AWS Certification training program to become a skilled cloud professional.