The benefits of cloud computing are widely recognised, with some 62 percent of UK organisations now formally using cloud services, but businesses often fail to factor in the broader benefits of this delivery model when calculating ROI, instead preferring to focus on the bottom line. This premise formed the basis of UK MD Michel Robert’s keynote presentation at Cloud Expo Europe 2013.
Michel led the audience through the findings from Claranet’s recent research into cloud adoption and trends. The research delved into the rationale given by businesses for adopting cloud, and the ways in which ROI is calculated. It found that only half of businesses calculate the wider benefits of cloud, beyond cost savings to the IT department, such as better performance and improved employee productivity when examining ROI. In light of these findings, Michel suggested that a focus on cost savings alone limits the terms in which a cloud project can be deemed successful and that the industry would do well to demonstrate the wider benefits of cloud services to support the case for adoption.
By way of example, Clive Malcher, Head of Product Development & Technology at Channel 5, gave some insight into Channel 5’s move to the cloud with Claranet in late 2010. Clive discussed how migration to Claranet’s hybrid cloud has given Channel 5 a more flexible, efficient and responsive infrastructure solution, which has allowed them to more fully integrate their websites with channel programming.
When it came to ROI, rather than simply focusing on cost savings, Clive spoke in broader terms about the dramatic improvements to Channel 5’s technical capabilities and the knock-on effects that it has had on the business. Among other things, the cloud has enabled Channel 5’s video on demand service, Demand 5, to cope with traffic that has increased 250 percent since 2010. As a key benefit, the flexibility of cloud has given them the horsepower to cope with regular traffic peaks, without having to fork out on permanent infrastructure. They’ve also gone from delivering video over the web to supporting 10 different platforms, with more to come.
The benefits brought by cloud computing go far beyond the purse strings, bringing previously unseen levels of flexibility, helping to transform businesses and improve services. Simply reducing ROI calculations to cost denies doesn’t do it justice.