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Main driver for Cloud shifting from cost reduction to agility

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As I’ve always believed they would, businesses are starting to see virtualised infrastructure for its agility rather than just seeing it as a cost cutting exercise. The Cloud and virtualisation is really all about agility, the flexibility to scale up and down servers, without the costs and lead-times attributed to purchasing hardware. A new report from Gartner seems to agree.

This recent study by Gartner has revealed that within the next 4 years, the main driver for Cloud deployments will shift from cost reduction to agility, with hybrid Clouds becoming the most popular set up. If you’d like to learn more about the different types of Cloud deployment, you can read my Guide to Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds.

Gartner reports that the main cause of this surge in popularity is a shift in the agendas of CIOs, looking now for agility from their IT infrastructure as well as a cost saving. It is also a case of timing, Cloud test projects are beginning to mature into established Cloud migrations.

After cost comes agility
Initially, moving to the Cloud saves costs through the very definition of virtualisation – there is no need for infrastructure to be installed and maintained onsite, driving capital and operating expenses down significantly. However, once the service is installed and the initial costs have been realised and the service has been ‘broken in,’ add-ons such as usage metrics and automated provisioning, while not doing too much to reduce costs further, can greatly improve the agility and scope of an offering. With many Cloud pilot studies now reaching end of life, transitioning into full Cloud deployments, the managers of such are now looking at where agility could make a difference in current services and understanding what new services would be useful if provided with agility.

As the main driver for cloud deployment shifts from cost to agility, IT teams will have to get better at identifying where they can help deliver benefits within their businesses. A private Cloud can enable technology-dependant business processes to operate more efficiently, with faster cycle time and lower costs. The rapid scaling of business operations, innovation and faster deployment allow for quick concept testing and faster ‘time-to-market’. EMC have noted “reductions of over 70 percent in the technology deployment time, effort, and cost associated with business initiatives”[1].

Modern IT teams need to be aligned with agility rather than having impressive technology on-site. The perceived loss of control of migrating to the Cloud has long been proven as a myth and in reality the security of a private Cloud is superior to that of on-site systems.

Recognition of the Cloud’s true benefits
In conclusion, Cloud-based virtual infrastructure allows the IT team to concentrate on developing competitive advantage with the knowledge that their infrastructure can be provisioned almost instantly and scaled as required. It was inevitable that the Cloud would be recognised for its agility rather than for just cost saving.

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