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Head in the clouds

Moving to the cloud isn’t an easy decision to make, but Tim Phillips explores why it could be best for your business.

In the past five years a revolution in the way companies use technology has equalled anything that we have seen since the arrival of the personal computer. Companies are redirecting investments they would have made in their own computers and data centres in favour of buying computing power as a service over the internet. Often the users might only be dimly aware that anything has changed. This is a revolution that happens in the back-office, in the way computing is organised, supplied and paid for.

Migration to the cloud isn’t an either/or decision – few companies either reject or embrace it for all their computing needs. In the transition to a hybrid architecture, some applications can be kept in-house, others are hosted (supplied as if they were in-house, but from a remote location), some use the cloud as a tactical way to access computing power for a short time, and others supply applications or storage as a service for a rental charge. But there are major questions to resolve including which services are better in which location, how disruptive the change will be and how the cloud enhances or restricts a company’s room for manoeuvre. And then there’s the cost of moving, retraining and integrating.

This is not an easy financial decision, not least because in the transition to the cloud the working practices of a company will change, as well as the way it measures the cost of technology.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 236, October 2015.

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