One of the big advantages of cloud computing is the flexibility that it brings to IT. Many of you will no doubt be familiar with the conundrum of managing resource availability: make sure there’s enough in the tank to keep things going smoothly — but be mindful that you’re on a budget and can’t simply over-spec and be done with it. Ideally, demand is stable or at least predictable, which makes the job simpler.
However, not all of us are lucky enough to preside over such a harmonious utopia, leading us into the territory of the “calculated risk” which isn’t always the ideal situation.
Resources on demand…
It’s the ability to scale up resources quickly that is capturing the attention of embattled IT managers who are looking to make their lives just a little easier.
Whereas in the past, reacting to a requirement could take weeks (ordering, building, delivery, installation, integration, testing), deploying in the cloud means that resources can be scaled up (more or less) at the touch of a button.
Whether this takes place as part of a well planned process or in reaction to an unexpected event, the on-demand “vending machine” of cloud gives organisations the ability to accommodate dynamic, or changeable demand in an efficient and timely way.
…for as long as you need them
As alluded to above, it’s not just scaling up that’s important. With a traditional physical infrastructure, servers are purchased for specific tasks. What happens to that hardware when demand falls back down, or a project isn’t as resource-hungry as expected? In many cases, the equipment is left dormant for periods of time, leading to capital waste. With cloud, this isn’t a problem: if the demand isn’t there, pull back the resource that you essentially “subscribe” to — you don’t need to pay for what you don’t use.
Reduce risk and make the most of opportunities
It’s this aspect of cloud computing that opens up the doors to what might otherwise have been considered overly “risky” projects, which is fantastic for increasing innovation and opportunity. Because there’s no capital investment involved, there’s less standing in the way of trying out these more speculative initiatives — any one of which could be the next big success story for a business.
Faster access to IT, which is more closely aligned to demand, without the commitment of capital expenditure: this is the IT agility which makes cloud computing as much about business strategy as a straight technical decision, releasing businesses from the rigidity of traditional IT procurement.