Businesses can save time and energy after moving to the cloud, but that may seem like a consolation prize if a firm doesn't take adequate steps to plan its path to the cloud properly, according to experts speaking to Computer World.
"A one-time move can [cost] thousands of dollars," according to Hernan Alvarez, senior IT director for WhitePages Inc in Seattle. And while the cloud has generally been thought of as a cost-saving measure, businesses shouldn't necessarily think it will only cost pennies.
"People think there are no labour costs, but as you scale up [to] handle workload, there's a complexity with managing large numbers of cloud instances, just like managing a large number of servers," the IT manager said.
However, Alwarez still advocates that businesses take up cloud computing.
Any large amount of spending on moving systems "is only an unexpected cost if you don't fully comprehend the cloud model," he said. "If you think about CPUs, capacity and storage and chart that over time, you can get a pretty good handle on what the costs are and if you can do it more cost-effectively internally."
Another point to monitor in the cloud, according to Jonathan Alboum, chief information officer at the US Department of Agriculture, is the technology's all-in-one pricing.
The cloud means some infrastructure costs are "baked in" to the single ticket, but he said he still felt the cloud was the right choice for business.
"Overall, [cloud computing] is very manageable and likely results in overall lower costs for the government," he told Computer World. "But it is different than what we've traditionally experienced."
Written by Jason Morton