CIO Magazine has a good article this month discussing strategies for measuring the return on investment for cloud computing projects. While the article is geared toward enterprise-level cloud implementations, we at ESG feel many of the same computations apply when selecting a cloud solution for your small or medium-sized business.
For example, when first becoming familiar with cloud computing the following section may help you to identify both what it is and how it saves your business time/money/labor:
The promise of cloud computing is identified primarily by the following key technical characteristics:
• The ability to create the illusion of infinite capacity performance is the same if scaled for one or one hundred or one thousand users with consistent service-level characteristics.
• Abstraction of the infrastructure so applications are not locked into devices or locations.
• Pay-as-you-go usage of the IT service; you only pay for what you use, with no or minimal up-front investment costs. You typically just use the service through a connection and device.
• Service is on-demand and able to scale up and down with near instant availability. Typically, no forward planning forecast is required.
• Access to applications and information can be obtained from any access point.
The article goes on to discuss how Amazon’s model illustrates capacity versus utilization, and the eight metrics your business might use to identify your ROI.