Many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have the resources or technical know-how to embrace the cloud. Instead, they opt for services like Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and similar SaaS solutions offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). This comes as no surprise given that in 2017 alone companies like Google, Microsoft and IBM have released more than 50 new enterprise-class hybrid cloud services. It’s a sign that companies are investing heavily in cloud computing as a means of cost savings, flexibility and rapid implementation. However, not everyone is convinced that going with the cloud is the best way of saving money. Here we take a look at why you might want to reconsider your cloud strategy in order to save money instead.
Why Ditch the Cloud?
The AWS tagline is “delivering the future today.” This is because the company offers a wide range of hybrid cloud services alongside its core infrastructure. However, AWS’s popularity has led to a number of high-growth, low-value cloud services that have contributed to an unusually high cost of doing business. For instance, AWS’s security is notoriously weak, which means that many businesses have been compromised. This is yet another reason why you might want to reconsider your cloud strategy in order to save money. A cheaper, more secure alternative to AWS is Microsoft Azure. It offers similar features at a much lower cost, while offering security that is better than AWS.
Cloud Costs More Than On-Site Services
AWS offers a range of infrastructure services that provide a virtual “backbone” for your business. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to businesses spending more than they would if they simply used on-site servers. For instance, AWS’s “Virtual Private Cloud” (VPC) service charges businesses roughly $55 per month per user, while the public cloud infrastructure of Google, Microsoft and other competitors costs $0 per user per month. AWS’s VPC solution is a bandwidth-heavy way of providing remote users with virtual servers that are isolated from the Internet. This approach can deliver impressive performance. However, it often comes at the cost of security, since servers in a VPC are accessible only from the AWS network.
Automation is key to save money in the cloud
AWS customers are sometimes tempted to automate their IT processes to save money. However, the cloud doesn’t promise to lower the cost of your operation. This is because automation is powerful, but also has limited memory. You’re therefore unlikely to achieve “perfect” performance by automating every aspect of your business. On-site servers, on the other hand, are typically configured with manual settings that are updated only as necessary. Automation has its place in the cloud. It can be used to run smaller-scale, automated processes like automatic payroll or inventory updates. However, you’re unlikely to be able to achieve the kind of automation seen at leading tech companies by running processes manually on on-site servers.
The cloud promises the benefits of speed and cost savings, but in reality it often fails to deliver. And when it comes to cost, finding a cheaper alternative to AWS can often be challenging. This is because the collective size of the cloud means that it’s difficult for rivals to take each other on directly. This means that there are few viable alternatives to AWS on the market and it’s therefore likely to be the cheapest option for your business. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stick with AWS. You can explore cheaper alternatives, such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, which can offer cost savings of up to 90% compared to AWS.