On a global level, IT spending by companies adds up to around $3 trillion each year at present. An increasing slice of this market is moving towards Cloud Computing, which is slated to increase to $129 billion by 2013 as everyone from SMBs to enterprise level customers migrate their entire infrastructure to the cloud.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but all of this is outsourcing. Everything is a service on the Cloud now, with no upfront costs. From an application development platform to application hosting, storing the data and analysis tools to mine the data, everything is moving towards becoming a pay as you go service.
The entire IT infrastructure can be broken up into the following hosted services on the cloud – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Companies can create private Clouds or setup their servers, networking and software on the public Cloud, or create a hybrid Cloud.
Just like traditional outsourcing, a move to the cloud typically garners savings in the range of 20 to 30 percent using Cloud Solutions Outsourcing. And the transition pains are no easier. What will be the ROI, and will there be any increase in process efficiency? Which applications can be migrated? Does the application have to be re-developed for the Cloud? Will the process need support from software vendors to come up with a Cloud version? What will be the scalability and does it match the required elasticity for the process and its growth forecasts? Can the company migrate its servers and applications from one provider to another? Is this the best Cloud Solutions Outsourcing strategy?
Thankfully, the Cloud Computing market is starting to mature enough to allow for consultants who can cook up customized outsourcing solutions for each customer. Cloud hosting rates start from a few cents and provide instant scalability to dozens of servers and back down to one as and when required.
You can migrate applications from your data centers without any disruption, and get service level agreements that guarantee performance and uptime. It can even be an open source setup, which does not require purchase of any software or Cloud OS to develop and host applications on the platform.
Our consultants can help clients through a series of steps, from application and process readiness to integration with on-premise and other Cloud applications, compliance requirements and cost analysis. Practically speaking, this means everything from application development and training to hosting and support.
As the client-server and then ERP implementation booms showed, those who do the customization right and are able to map out their business processes on to an IT system will realize immense benefits in the form of cost reductions and process efficiency.
The difference in the case of cloud computing is that the risks are far lower because there is no upfront investment. In fact, Cloud computing is probably the only IT trend in the last 20 years that does not require more investment. All it needs is the expertise to find the right outsourcing company and Cloud computing provider, who will then lead the company in the right direction.