5 Ways to Evaluate Your Investment in the Cloud

Businesses adopt cloud computing with the intention of cashing in on its many benefits, like doing more for less. How does a business owner know for certain that a cloud investment is actually paying off? Here are five ways to help find the answer.


1. Costs

Putting numbers to your cost savings can be achieved by comparing your IT expenses before and after you’ve migrated your data hosting to the cloud. Depending on what financial software your accounting department uses, finding this information can be as easy as comparing expense reports and spreadsheets. Keep in mind that if you’ve very recently switched to the cloud, then comparing expenses may not yet be an accurate exercise.


2. User Satisfaction

When it comes down to it, users determine the true value of a technology. Therefore, it is worth your time to conduct employee satisfaction surveys. By giving users a forum to voice their concerns, you may find ways to improve your cloud solution and make it even more valuable. For example, if employees like using the cloud but are frustrated with downtime due to a poor Internet connection, then you’ll know issue you need to resolve.


3. IT Responsiveness

One reason why businesses migrate to the cloud is to minimize the need of burdening an in-house IT team to resolve issues. An additional factor to consider is how long it takes for these problems to be resolved. For example, if your cloud provider takes longer to fix an issue than your previous arrangement for IT maintenance, then you may want to reconsider your processes. Keep in mind that by switching to the cloud, you should see a reduction in the average time between bug report and solution deployment. On average, companies that migrate to the cloud see this key metric reduced anywhere from 30-80 percent.


4. Business Continuity

It’s easy to overlook the value of your data being secure and accessible today, tomorrow, and the next day. Although, if you consider that a business that loses its data due to a disaster typically goes out of business within a year, then it’s easy to see what makes hosting and storing your company’s data in the cloud so valuable. Simply put, if a business experiences a server failure, security breach, or problem due to human error, and they’ve deployed a cloud-based data security solution, then they can be confident that operations will continue with minimum downtime. The key performance indicator of continuance of operations is one of the most unsung heroes of cloud benefits.


5. Other Valuable Benefits to Keep in Mind

While it’s certainly important to compare expense reports and look at hard numbers, you’ll also want to consider ways that cloud computing saves you time and money that aren’t so black and white. This requires you to look beyond spreadsheets and find ways to measure factors like, not having to pay on-site repair jobs, improved collaboration with your various departments, just how your staff accessing the cloud from anywhere benefits operations, etc.


Ultimately, the value of your company’s solutions is determined by how well your needs are being met. While you’re counting to five, keep in mind the security of our data in the cloud. For some insight into that topic, join The Walker Group for Tech Talk & Suds “Securing the Cloud” on June 22.