IT spend | 01st Nov 2017

Moving your server to the cloud will save tonnes of money...right?

By Paul Manson, Virtual Chief Information Officer - HUM

You have an ageing server, and your IT guy has told you it’s time to replace it.  Argh, that sounds expensive! Maybe now’s a good time to move to the cloud - that’d be the cheaper option, surely?

Actually, on its own, it’s not likely to save you a whole lot of dosh (sorry to be the bearer of bad news).

One of my favourite sayings is, “The cloud is just a computer in someone else’s house”. The infrastructure you’re renting still has costs: it needs to be powered, cooled (one of the major costs of any data centre), kept secure, patched and maintained, and refreshed when it gets older. The company running this data centre also needs to make a buck, so what you’re paying is for your share of that hardware, spread over its useful lifetime.

Now don’t get me wrong, economies of scale are amazing, and you will likely get access to technology and functionality that used to be the domain of only the biggest organisations, but it all comes at a cost. Also remember, cloud companies know what it costs to ‘do it yourself’, so as any smart business would, they price themselves just on the right side of that DIY cost to win business.

The positives of shifting your infrastructure to the cloud are significant (more flexibility, better disaster recovery, business continuity protection), and are probably enough on their own to justify the move. But simply paying for your server ‘as-a-Service’ isn’t likely to be much cheaper than replacing and maintaining your own.

That's not to say that it can’t lead to cost savings. Because here's the important bit. Once you’ve moved your infrastructure to the cloud, it’s easier to make a complete shift to a Software-as-a-Service environment and to a fully managed IT support service (like HUM). Among a whole host of big benefits for small businesses, this combination is likely to save you a whole lot of money. On average, Kiwi small businesses spend a total of $268 per user, per month on their IT. For those who work with HUM, that cost reduces to just $150 per user, per month. At the very least, making a complete shift to the cloud and partnering with HUM means your IT spend is vastly more manageable and transparent - with bigger bang for your buck.

So go ahead: replace your old server with a cloud alternative. It’s smart move, but don’t expect much in the way of instant cost savings. Instead, view it as a stepping stone towards a full cloud environment, with an expert managed IT support service wrapped around it. That’s where the magic happens.

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