Capturing cloud ROI

While reducing costs is one of the most commonly touted benefits of cloud computing, decision-makers throughout the private sector often fail to understand the financial advantages of using the technology. This makes it more difficult for executives to develop strong return on investment plans and see the long-term potential of the cloud.

TechTarget recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that it is contributing to the convergence of the chief information officer (CIO) role with the chief financial officer (CFO) position. Because advanced technologies like the cloud often impact the budget in a number of ways, CIOs need to be confident that any particular solution used in the enterprise will make it easier for companies to survive the macroeconomic crisis.

Fortunately, there are a number of tools now at CIOs' disposal that enable them and other decision-makers to view the long-term possibilities of most emerging technologies, TechTarget noted.

"Cloud financial ratios are not widely understood by IT leaders, with many adoption decisions based on rudimentary, incomplete data or without any financial data at all," said Milind Govekar, vice president at Gartner, according to the news source. "As a result, many companies are only now realizing they have over-provisioned virtual machines for private cloud or over-purchased licenses for public cloud initiatives, resulting in lower ROI for their cloud projects."

Ensuring the cloud delivers from day one
Proper planning and research will eliminate the possibility of not acquiring a positive ROI from the cloud. Decision-makers now have an abundance of tools that give them unique insight into cloud infrastructure operations, expenses associated with the services and the costs of running any particular application in a specific environment, TechTarget said.

A report by the Open Group noted executives looking to get a substantial ROI from the cloud should compare capacity, workload efficiency and the overall functionality of the ecosystem of varying products, models and vendors. Decision-makers should also look at how energy efficient cloud solutions are, as green services will often provide more substantial return in the long run.

In today's world, cloud computing can be an IT initiative with a highly profitable return, as the hosted offerings deliver a number of unique benefits that are not available through any other technologies. By planning ahead and implementing the right cloud, organizations can be sure they generate a positive ROI from a cloud deployment strategy.

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