Which cloud model should organizations choose?

When organizations consider cloud solutions, they usually focus on three areas:

  • Cost
  • Security/reliability and compliance
  • Functionality

These three categories aren’t necessarily equally important. Some smaller organizations might favor lower cost over functionality, while larger, more complex organizations might have security and compliance as their top priority.

Consider the following when you choose the best model for your organization:

  • Recent investment in hardware. A year ago a medium-sized org invested in new hardware for their on-premises datacenter. They likely won’t be interested in any major shift to the cloud for at least a year or two. Organizations in a similar situation will likely opt for a limited hybrid cloud model that focuses on providing functionalities they lack in their local datacenter.
  • Outdated hardware and systems. In contrast to the previous example, an organization that’s considering a local datacenter renewal versus cloud-based solutions can have a very different perspective. If their datacenter has old hardware and unsupported versions of software, they’ll be more likely to consider moving to the cloud. And, if the cloud offering meets their security and compliance requirements, the relative cost and the type of cost model (operational expenses [day-to-day costs] vs. capital expenses [one-time cost]) will probably be the deciding factors.
  • Limited in-house IT resources. The size and skill of your IT department matters when you're considering whether to move to a cloud-based solution. Often an organization with limited IT resources moves more quickly to cloud services because they don't need IT hardware and software maintenance. Some organizations with larger IT teams might also consider the cloud as a way to free their IT resources to focus on more strategic functions, thus adding value to the organization.
  • Available capital. Cloud-based SaaS solutions are designed to help you avoid large upfront capital investments in IT - instead you pay for access to software over time using a subscription model. If your organization has limited capital for IT or has other priorities for capital investment, then the cloud-only model might be the best choice.