It’s sometimes difficult to quantify the value of resource flexibility for your business – it’s an obvious thing to praise, but your day-to-day business operations may seem not to require it. In fact, sometimes it seems like stability and predictability would be preferable. How often do you need to change your IT arrangements, anyway?
But in reality, having a flexible IT infrastructure via cloud computing is valuable not only as a response to your existing business needs, but also to encourage dynamic growth in your company. In our experience, potential clients often underestimate how much flexibility they can actually use, simply because they’ve become accustomed to making do with the minimum amount available from in-house IT.
Cloud computing solutions offer tremendous advantages in flexibility in two main areas when compared to traditional in-house IT: financial and technical. These two interact, of course, but their respective advantages are worth explaining in some detail:
It’s well-known that cloud computing reduces up-front setup costs and provides better value for money compared to in-house IT solutions, but its flexibility goes beyond this. With cloud computing, it’s easy to scale payments as-needed and reduce extra capacity, for instance to weather an unexpected downturn or react to a seasonal variation in business. And cloud computing costs are in an entirely different tax class than infrastructure purchases, and are often tax-deductible (please consult your tax adviser). The bottom line is that paying for a service, rather than buying the hardware and doing it yourself, is inherently more flexible. Cloud servers allow you to react with greater speed to changes in IT requirements, as well as to tailor your services more precisely at any given time. The key advantages of its financial flexibility are tax leverage and avoiding overpaying for unneeded services.
One of the key advantages of running virtual servers in a data center – or having an IaaS provider manage dedicated hardware for you – is that it’s very easy to add or remove servers, change server specifications, update or alter software, and undertake required maintenance. In addition, you have a professional support team on-hand to manage changes and ensure consistent uptime. This technical flexibility is often undervalued simply because it’s so unexpected, but the advantages in encouraging dynamic business growth should be clear. For instance, a small biomedical start-up undertaking a complex trial of a new chemical compound can commission a server to run analysis of a huge dataset, and then decommission the server afterwards. The cost savings compared to purchasing the appropriate IT hardware should be obvious.
The bottom line is that having access to flexibility helps your company become more dynamic. Cloud hosting helps you regard computing resources as on-demand tools to enable your company vision, rather than fixed quantities that must be the allocated when deciding what you can do in the future.