Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 Reasons to Embrace Cloud Computing

Yesterday, I wrote about 5 Reasons to avoid Cloud Computing. Today I am turning that around.

  1. Scalability - Scalability is *THE* marketing buzz for cloud computing. To be able to dynamically add storage and computing power as needed, is a huge benefit to any business that needs scalability. Take note of that, not all businesses need that kind of scalability. If you are not presenting a web presence with a likelihood of viral acceptance, you probably don't need this kind of scalability.
  2. Time to market - This is goodness for any business. You have your plan, your software, your domain name, whatever and you're ready to go. Now you need to buy hardware, configure the hardware, find space for the hardware, get power to the hardware, staff up maintenance for the hardware.... Or, press a button on a web page, have your web guy load the application and be on your way. Obviously I exaggerate. That's close though.
  3. R&D - have an idea? Fire up a cloud image and try it out. Doesn't pan out? Throw it away. You're only out a few dollars. No pesky unused hardware sitting around cluttering up your data center. Need a development or test instance? Press a few buttons on a web page, presto! Pay as you go. Scheduling dev and test hardware has now become painless for large organizations. Data refreshed? Thing of the past. Boot up a couple of images, load them up with data, throw them away when finished.
  4. Upfront Costs - Pay as you go is a wonderful thing. For most pieces of the cloud you will either pay per use or you will sign up for a subscription. I prefer pay as you go as I am a techie type and I only need it to do development or proof of concepts. Subscriptions work out well for businesses as it's still very low up front and costs are very predictable in the long run. Like "rent to own", pay as you go and subscriptions usually cost more in the long run. But like leasing, pay as you go does provide some guarantees for hardware.
  5. Buzzworthiness - Hey, if your widget doesn't run in the cloud, it is so 20th century. You thought web 2.0 was big? Used to be. Naw it's all about being SaaSy! Seriously, for at least the next few years, just being associated with cloud computing will get you additional bang for the buck. This applies to small/new players. If you have some stability, don't trade that for cloud computing just yet.


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