The cloud services are setup, but who’s paying the bills?


Unless you’ve been stuck under a rock for the last 127 days, you will have probably heard of “the cloud”. The cloud is the raging trend being discussed in enterprise meeting rooms everywhere, as a way of saving money and trimming the bottom line. It’s been touted as the hassle free way of exponentially expanding your environment in peak demand and just as easily shrinking it again, it allows you to minimize the internal server and network device maintenance requirements and potentially cut back your downtime and outages dramatically.  So why aren’t companies moving in their thousands to a cloud based service? Well they are.

Small moves like implementing Exchange Hosted services to work as spam protection for internal email services, or moving the company’s intranet and internet services to a cloud based service is the proverbial toe dipping being exercised by some IT departments. Slowly, as the figures from these small moves are digested, it’s becoming more evident to the money men within some enterprises that moving previously internal systems to a Cloud service provider can be a very prudent business decision.  After all, if you can present a lower expenditure to your management whilst maintaining, if not increasing, current service levels. Then you are going to be at the top of the list when projects or promotions come up.

Image credit: Dynamic Business

So what are the down sides? Apart from the obvious and most talked about concerns of moving your secure data offsite, there is the frightening prospect of being dead in the water should your Cloud service fail. Obviously redundancies and contingencies will be heavily discussed during talks with potential service providers. Once these details are highlighted and accounted for there doesn’t seem to be many more pressing concerns that you wouldn’t normally have with any vendor regarding hardware capability and capacity. Or is there?

Through day to day discussions with peers in the IT industry it has become plainly obvious to me that there is one crucial element the majority of companies are overlooking. That is the potentially expensive practice of large increases in data that will now be traversing your external links. Unbelievably, I have been made aware of a number of projects in recent months that have completely overlooked the area of network data increases. Now for some companies an increase in traffic is not a concern. Many ISP’s have commercial plans that will allow for large data increases at no extra cost. However not all businesses will be setup like this, and it these companies which may be in for a large surprise when the next monthly account arrives detailing a charge which will more than likely wipe out any projected savings earned by moving “to the cloud” .

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