For an IT department tasked with pitching the virtues of the cloud to the employer, a top priority must be convincing the employer that taking advantage of a cloud file service is more cost efficient than the company’s current method of data storage. So, how can the case be made?
One statistic that may be helpful comes from a 2011 white paper, “File Storage Costs Less in the Cloud than In-House,” by Andrew Reichman of Infrastructure & Operations Professionals. The report states, “Our models reveal a significant cost difference, with the cloud-based model coming in 74% less expensive than I&O running it in-house.” But it isn’t only this report that supports the claim that the cloud is more cost effective; many IT leaders in the trenches attest to the clear cost comparison between a cloud file service and in-house data storage.
It will take some preparation to effectively present to the employer your case for the cloud. As you prepare, follow this simple outline for discussing the cost of online file storage and sharing (a.k.a. cloud computing) vs. in-house data storage.
First, analyze the current IT budget. Many organizations are unsure what it costs to manage their IT, so the first order of business is to determine that cost. Add up every expense associated with storing company data onsite (building hardware, installing software, paying dedicated license fees, etc.), and have that figure at the ready during your presentation. You should also make a visual aid that breaks those costs down, so the employer can see for himself how his IT budget is currently being spent.
Tap into the employer’s business goals. It is hard to make the case for the cloud without also presenting some tangible business objectives the employer will care about. Many employers are unsure of what the cloud can do for their business, aside from bringing it up to date with the latest computing trend. It’s up to you to show them that it’s so much more than a fad. You know why you want to switch to the cloud; this is the time to explain to him why he should want it, too. Tell the employer all the reasons why a cloud file service is good for this specific business.
Connect the dots between data security and cost. Explain the security advantages of cloud file services. The employer needs to understand concepts like data encryption, private keys and other advantages that a cloud file service like ours can offer. This can also be tied into cost, by explaining how a data breach would cost the company money if it were to occur.
Following these steps demonstrates to the employer that you have made a well-informed presentation. There is no guarantee that he will understand the cost effectiveness of a cloud file service, but being prepared can certainly improve your chances.