Thursday, 9 February 2012

Does the cloud pay for itself?

Next up is Oxford Brookes, talking about making the cloud pay for itself.

How much does the cloud cost?
Consumer view is that its free, eg iPlayer, mail. So, is the cloud free? No, not that simple! Even consumers have costs, connections, data tariffs, devices, etc. So, there is a consumer cost.
Also costs borne by organisations - we provide devices, connections, Janet, hardware, software, people, skills etc. Content is an immense cost.

So, the cost of the Cloud is a lot! But a simple RoI is not the right metric. Need to see it not as a cost, but an investment. Look for business benefits, driven by customer expectations.
Innovation is another key driver. Everyone wants self service, mobile delivery, anytime, anyplace etc.
Carbon reduction targets also important.
Operational excellence, adopt best practice - buy a solution and use it out of the box. In principle can do this with cloud solutions.

Oxford Brookes have gone with Google for staff and students. Are some cost savings, eg licence costs for exchange. Not a lot of savings for docs, hangouts, sites yet. There are other ways of doing most of these things, so they are providing business benefits but not saving money.

Other cloud examples at Oxford Brookes include Moodle VLE  and web content management system. Doing some experiments with virtual desktop on Google Chromebooks. Also have a mobile app, but again not saving money, because not turning anything off. Just providing different way into services.

So, there is a lot of cost efficiency, ease of engagement, innovation, anytime anywhere  etc. Not necessary saving money.

Might be a cost in terms of reputational damage if services go down. Will nearly always be us that take the flack, not Amazon!  Need an exit strategy.

Conclusion - cloud services are probably not saving us money, but are getting business benefits and innovation.


George Credland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Credland said...

Do they have any metrics or satisfaction survery results before and after the changes?