When I meet with customers, I always ask about their primary objective in moving to the cloud. The majority of these customers have the same response: “to save money.”

I can’t blame customers for taking this position. Google “cloud deployment” and the headers are dominated by positive articles that offer up anecdotal evidence of how the cloud can save customers money.  Most commonly, either cloud consultants or platform providers (who have a vested interest in selling the financial benefit of the cloud) are responsible for these articles.

Cloud deployments can and should be cost effective over time, but initially, these deployments can generate unforeseen expenses. Part of the problem has to do with the actual effort involved, but it’s also important to consider how customers practically execute cloud computing as a function of their corporate cultures, and how this figures into the success of cloud deployments.

The impact on cloud in terms of capital and operational expenditures

Related to capital expenditures, costs related to Platform as a Service (PaaS or Cloud OS) deployment and support are substantial. In particular, often customers cannot find experienced certified cloud technicians in a timely manner, and as a result tend to outsource these capabilities, which leads to unanticipated expenses.

As Alex Hickey, Associate Editor, posts in CIO Today,

“Employer demand for cloud computing roles, including infrastructure, security, architecture and engineering, rose almost 33% in the last three years. But job seeker interest in these positions, which has risen almost 108% in the same period, still falls short of meeting demand, according to an analysis of Indeed job data.”

What’s more, as customer teams need to be trained to operate on PaaS, training costs contribute to these expenditures.

In terms of operational expenditures, while cloud computing creates economies of scale in the (Read more...)