Hidden Costs Of Cloud Computing

The argument for cloud computing is compelling. After all the numbers get crunched, we still have to ponder what other hidden elements could raise the costs even higher than what was originally planned. Business disruptions and other outages are clear risks, but there is also a more dangerous set of problems that may drive up the costs even more.

cloud computing

A few of years ago, a survey of application managers was conducted, and one of the primary questions that was asked was how do they learn about any slowdowns and glitches that the customers may experience. The mind-boggling answer was that these application managers did not find out about any glitches on their sites until a customer either called in or emailed in a complaint. When someone gets stuck on a website, the application managers at the other end are typically not aware of the troubles.

So, as many more organizations are moving their operations to the cloud, this situation may get worse. And this could potentially be costly to the businesses. It is a well known fact that consumers will not stay on a site for too long if they keep getting hung up and they will likely go to a competitor’s site instead.

Cloud Computing Costs

This problem and others are some areas that are may cost companies more and that may concern many CIOs. They should be concerned about an assortment of hidden costs that may only surface after everything is up and running. There could be problems like poor performance, or other issues with affect service availability.

What will happen when the service begins to run slow, and the transactions start to back up? What will happen when the end-user customers begin to get frustrated at the slow website performance? How much will it cost for your staff to sit by and wait until the customers get on the phone with their providers’ technicians and begin to sort through the issues that they have experienced on their end?

There is no question that a lot of money will go into cloud projects. Some experts believe that the cloud will be their top investment area for 2014. A lot of companies have crunched the numbers for the numerous up-front costs of cloud computing, which will usually include subscription fees that are combined with a specific amount of staff time that will be required for the set-up, any user training and integrations.

Cloud Computing Concerns

From a management viewpoint, the top cloud computing concerns should be:

Poor end user experiences due to any performance bottlenecks. This problem goes back to the customer end-user experiences, since e-commerce is the leading cloud application area.

How the effects of poor application performance on specific brands, perceptions and customer loyalty affects customers.

The loss of any revenue due to poor availability, the application performance, and troubleshooting cloud services.

Increased costs of finding solutions to problems in a more complex environment.

Increased effort that is required to manage the cloud vendors and service level agreements.

Of course, these costs are not easy to evaluate. A total outage or complete system failure is easier to gauge, and it can be somewhat simple to address. A gradual slowdown or partial malfunction that happens somewhere in the processes can be quite a bit more challenging; and this can, over the course of time, add up to a lot of money lost.

A lot of companies are now using some recently outdated, or even manual, methods to try to track and manage some cloud application performances. One common metric used to track cloud application performances is availability or uptime, instead of more granular end-user metrics like response time, page rendering time or user interactivity time.

The capability to monitor cloud applications and run analytics to be able to measure the performances, as well as being able to provide the visibility to what end users are seeing and experiencing is key.

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