A CXO’s Dilemma: What’s the true cost of migrating to the cloud?

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Dilemma: You may know the price of specific cloud instances, services, or solutions from certain providers, but do you really know the actual cost—and how long will that take to calculate?

The CIO’s job has never been more dynamic—or more demanding. Business changes as fast as the technology driving it; sometimes faster than we can keep pace with. That’s why an effective leader must stay informed about viable solutions, costs, pitfalls, and payoffs. But working with the vast number of options available to IT today can be bewildering: cluster-based public clouds, private clouds, instance-based clouds, and so forth. The wrong choice can have a significant impact on your company’s costs and profits. These are complex decisions and not obvious without rigorous analysis; for example, not migrating at this time may be the right choice.

Of particular importance is baselining your current data center and performing a cost analysis for migrating to the cloud. Can you clearly articulate to the CFO the anticipated TCO and ROI for each strategy option? How much time should you invest in costing out an optimal migration strategy? What level of cost and benefit is the tipping point to persuade the company that cloud migration is the right choice?

What if the right tools could save 80 percent of your time by automating your investigation?

Traditionally, the CIO has been the buyer of hardware, software, maintenance, and security.  This involves finding a precise balance between CAPEX and OPEX expenditures. Traditionally, the procurement models for hardware have been CAPEX-oriented. However, the course change to managing cloud services challenges the CIO’s traditional financial approach with new OPEX models that offer balanced, long-running forecasts of recurring expenses. The work of comparing and analyzing these disparate cost structures can be done faster with the help of partners and tools that accelerate knowledge and visibility.

In most organizations, the task of engaging technology teams and starting assessments for a major undertaking like cloud migration (or even just cloud adoption) must be backed by quantifiable proof of savings. There are stories of companies engaging in nine-month-long audits of resources, plus another two months of cloud pricing exercises—only to abandon the efforts because the infrastructure grew and changed dramatically during the assessment timeframe. So time is of the essence for quantifying and accurately assessing your options. Working closely with ecosystem partners and trusted advisors can save time, while ensuring all upsides and downsides of a potential migration are known and taken into account.

When starting down the path of planning for cloud migration, baselining your current operational and infrastructure costs will create a scale for measuring results. You want to see costs dramatically reduced, or functionality and value dramatically increased—ideally both. But quantifying IT costs for a dynamic environment like a virtual data center means that the CIO must “make a bet” by investing in real-time assessment before resources can change, and then committing to the estimated figure. If on-premise IT costs are lower, one must assess the value gained on-premise, as well as whether contention or performance suffer from running a potentially overcommitted resource. Low on-premise costs are not always a positive. These low costs may indicate underfunded services and a staff that is just “making do” with available resources. Understanding these indicators demands more than just cost models and may call for an outside review.

The smartest leaders leverage the channel ecosystem to speed resourcing and execution of a digital transformation. Folks like CDW, TechData, Technologent, DXC, and Groupware all offer assessment services that can accelerate time-to-value in determining your suitability for multiple cloud options. These strategic partners can apply lessons learned from hundreds of assessments, making them the fastest route to success, while ensuring that no one overlooks the obvious (or the not-so-obvious).

Once the discovery and evaluation are finalized, the analyst must quickly share findings with staff, leadership, and strategic partners. Again, speed and accuracy are crucial to keeping informed on the costs before environments change. For many companies, executing these transformations is a new organizational direction; that’s why internal buy-in and support are critical. Sharing the metrics and models of a cloud transformation can obtain the support of both financial stakeholders and technology owners as the process kicks off.

CloudPhysics, along with the assistance of strategic partners, offers the visibility, planning, and costing expertise to evaluate the entire data center using current, accurate metrics. That means quickly calculating on-premise IT costs for geographies, data centers, and individual lines of business to determine if a solution is most viable in a cluster-based cloud model or an instance-based cloud model. CloudPhysics enables you to collect and compare financials across platforms for similar resources—all on one screen. Your channel partners can take these metrics to the next level with value-added assessments and services to accelerate your decision-making process.

CloudPhysics combines the technical knowledge of an IT manager, the financial modeling abilities of a CFO, and the business savvy of a CEO.

All of these can be applied to real-world data center models, helping you make the decisions that guide your business in the most positive future direction. Take full advantage of CloudPhysics today and engage a Channel Partner for a funded assessment, with confidence that your cloud migration will then be based on a solid foundation of real-world metrics and quantifiable costs.

When you are done, make more time for life!

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