Weighing the Benefits and Risks
Weighing the benefits and risks
Now, let's look at the five benefits and associated risks of moving these pieces of infrastructure to the cloud. These items involve costs, responsibility, trust, control, functionality and security.
There is no doubt that outsourcing to the cloud lowers infrastructure costs. There is no need to purchase and maintain servers, plan for hardware refresh cycles, purchase server software licenses, etc. This also frees up IT resources to focus on other strategic, possibly revenue-generating, projects.
However, unlike an in-house infrastructure in which buying equipment and staffing are usually fixed costs, paying for a hosted service is a variable monthly cost that may change outside of your control-especially if pricing is based on volume. Some services may reduce bandwidth needs and costs (for example, outsourcing the External Protection Layer's incoming message cleansing), but others may increase bandwidth needs.
Finally, outsourcing infrastructure into the cloud will certainly reduce administrative and operational personnel needs as described earlier, but it may increase internal help desk or support demand. This can be mitigated by transferring services to the cloud that don't impact users directly.