ROI Calculator Estimates Cloud Computing Cost Savings

by David Needle

Free tool designed to help IT assess current infrastructure costs and potential savings of a move to cloud computing.

More on cloud computing

Cloud computing is a topic getting a lot of play in IT circles thanks to the success of companies like Amazon, Salesforce and Google, and with venerable IT firms like IBM and Microsoft jumping on the bandwagon.

But for all the customer wins these players can legitimately claim, the traditional data center model of IT infrastructure managed on company premises still has plenty of loyalists, thanks in part to security concerns and other issues such as developing an effective migration plan.

Astadia, a cloud computing system integrator, thinks it can take a lot of the pain out that enterprise shops might fear is involved with a move to the cloud. Thursday, Astadia launched its IT Cloud Transformation (ITX) ROI Calculator, a free service the company said helps assess current infrastructure resources and savings to be realized by moving to the cloud.

"We put some investment into taking what we've learned from years of working with on-premise and cloud computing systems to develop a set of metrics users can adjust a bit to reflect their particular situation," Astadia CTO Mike Lingo told InternetNews.com.

The ITX ROI Calculator compares a company's current expenses on infrastructure to what cloud services, using Saleseforce's platform, would cost. "Generally speaking, the Salesforce platform is the most mature, so that's what we use for the calculator but you can expect similar savings from other cloud providers," he said.

If nothing else, Lingo said users might find using the tool revealing even if they only take inventory of their current infrastructure costs.

"I spend a lot of time talking to CIOs and IT leaders and what I hear that's a fundamental change is a really big focus on information innovation," he said. "So it's not just about keeping the lights on in the server room any more. The CEO looks at IT and the server room and it all seems too 'twenty years ago.'

"You unpack all that and look at what you've invested in, and for what? So someone can spend three weeks mounting a new disk? The cloud changes all that," Lingo said.

But Lingo concedes the cloud is not a panacea or even the best solution for every situation.

"There are big cost savings, but for some situations and projects, a cloud solution might not be right because there might not be enough cost savings to make it worth it, or some other reason," he said. "But in general, clients end up spending less money when they move to the cloud and they also can spend more time focusing on their business issues once they can take all that infrastructure they've had to deal with out of the equation."

The IT Cloud Transformation (ITX) ROI Calculator is available here. Results are available in U.S. dollars and British Pounds Sterling.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on Friday Aug 20th 2010
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