October 21, 2013

Private or Public – Which One Delivers the Best Cloud Computing Experience for an Enterprise

According to a recent Gartner report, the public cloud services market worldwide is expected to reach $131 billion in 2013, a steep increase from $111 billion in 2012. The report goes on to add that from 2013 to 2016, a total of $677 billion will be spent on cloud services worldwide. There is no denying that this ‘cloud burst’ is one that most enterprises have taken a liking to, largely due to the incredible benefits of cloud adoption.

An important question facing IT managers planning to migrate application workload to a cloud platform is whether to opt for a private cloud or invest in a public cloud computing platform?

There is no cut and dried answer to such a predicament. Businesses will have to weigh in a lot of factors before arriving at the right choice of the platform. If you are aiming for the best cloud computing experience, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

Cost – If you are ready to incur capital expenditure to setup and maintain your private cloud infrastructure, go ahead and do it. Many enterprises opting for a public cloud computing platform actually benefit from the economies of scale. The fact that infrastructure-related costs on server, storage and networking, etc. are spread across a large number of users in a public cloud environment makes it a viable alternative to private cloud from a cost perspective. Operational efficiencies on a public cloud network are immediately realized with the savings in power, cooling and setup/maintenance costs.

Time to Market – In the competitive landscape, the diverse geographies and market conditions that most businesses operate in today, agility is the need of the hour. Increased speed to market for software products can be a game changer in giving businesses an edge over competition. The fact that public cloud solutions scale on demand make them ideal to address the rising workload of mobile and web application development.

Effective Resource Utilization – Implementing private cloud can be a burden on your existing IT resources. Your IT staff will not be able to focus on core competency areas, a problem which can be resolved by migrating to a public cloud computing platform.

Scalability – The ‘pay as you go’ pricing model offered by most public cloud providers helps in addressing short-term scalability concerns of an enterprise. Companies can scale up or ramp down as per business requirements without having to waste time in effecting infrastructure upgrades. The dependency on in-house legacy hardware solutions in a private cloud setting often restricts growth and innovation opportunities.

Security – Lastly, the biggest barrier to full-scale cloud adoption is the growing concern of CIOs in relation to data security. While it is true that private cloud is best suited for ensuring 100% control over organization data, whether it can really safeguard data in this day and age of BYOD and mobile technology is no guarantee. Completely writing off public cloud services because of security considerations is a common mistake. Many of the popular cloud computing platforms like Amazon have robust security features in place to sustain their leadership and reputation as market leaders in cloud services. Tie up with a certified Amazon Web Services partner to reap the rich benefits of public cloud computing services. One good example of a popular cloud computing service with business critical data is Salesforce.com, currently ranked #1 on the Forbes list of most innovative companies in America.

There is no dearth of application areas of private and public cloud computing services. The education sector, for instance, is ripe for disruption and can benefit a lot by implementing cloud computing solutions. Cloud can be a catalyst for innovation and environment friendly paper less form of teaching and learning. Educational expenses can be cut down to a great degree by low cost implementation of web and mobile applications. Barriers of distance can be countered and education can be provided to the masses in a cost-effective manner.

Evaluating the ROI for emerging technologies like cloud computing is no longer a challenge once you have the right software development partner working with you.