Cloud computing has been pitched hard to enterprises as a means to achieve a lower total cost of ownership and a higher ROI while still meeting IT service needs.
Cloud computing has been pitched hard to enterprises as a means to achieve a lower total cost of ownership and a higher ROI while still meeting IT service needs. What isn’t always factored in is in-house manpower savings – it’s an often overlooked benefit in the IaaS justification equation.
Although there’s not yet a specific formula for calculating the exact in-house manpower savings realized from IaaS use, identifying the main factors in this area can help organizations build breadth-and-depth TCO and ROI projections.
Here are 10 areas in which companies can potentially save on people costs by harnessing IaaS.
- Infrastructure care and feeding. The largest manpower savings area can be server handling. Opex is reduced when companies hand off the management, updating, rebooting and patching of servers to the IaaS provider. Add in networks and storage and you’re looking at real money. This shifting of basic functions also enables other wins, such as better security and freeing up in-house IT to help the business evolve faster.
- Provisioning prowess. It’s quicker and easier for an IaaS provider to provision and deliver pay-as-you-go dynamic server computing resources than it is for a company to have in-house staff buy, install and configure servers as part of a capital expenditure undertaking. This multiplies the speed of evolution benefit.
- Anytime, anywhere access. Organizations can expect savings in travel costs and manpower otherwise expended reaching remote server locations for administration, management, augmentation or upgrade needs.
- Dynamic vs. manual provisioning. With a dynamic server resource, for example, companies would not have to commit staff resources to manage the problem of under- or overprovisioning computing resources to meet often unpredictable peaks and valleys of demand.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity. Conventional BC/DR programs, administered properly, are hugely time consuming and expensive. In contrast, given their numerous locations domestically and often globally, IaaS providers offer enterprises use of far-flung hosted servers for geographic disaster recovery and load balancing. IaaS-based caching products and services can be applied (pay as you go) to add flexibility in this requirement area. In both instances, in-house staff resource use is minimal.
- Industry brains and brawn. IaaS providers, technical communities and the industry help fuel organizations’ cloud sourcing efforts without requiring them to educate staff from scratch or worse, hire new people with hot (read: expensive) skill sets.
- Compliance and security. Rather than saddle in-house staff with important but often time-consuming efforts such as log analysis and patching, companies can tap service options and providers with the manpower needed to ensure these requirements are met.
Simplify chargeback. Large companies can use IaaS capabilities to accurately and quickly determine which departments across a vast enterprise owe how much for compute time and more. This saves companies from having in-house staff perform this complex, time-consuming and often politically fraught task.
Generating revenue is as alluring as saving money. The last two items can help companies apply their human capital toward advancing strategic business. Two areas to include:
- Optimize IT investment. Companies that are just starting up need a faster, simpler, more cost-effective way to run their core IT operations so they can focus on widening revenue streams into rivers. That means tasking in-house staff to focus on developing and launching business-differentiating applications.
- Meet the need for speed. IaaS use can drive business agility by enabling companies to change quickly and speed time to market. Companies that embrace IaaS can put freed up in-house staff resources, saved money, and the expenses they have avoided toward addressing new customer and market opportunities.