Cloud Computing is a concept that I continue to hear a lot of talk about, but it also creates a lot of confusion. And the two big questions many life sciences managers have is: “Can it save me money?” and “Is it secure?” Today, I will share some thoughts on how cloud computing can save you money. I will cover security in a later email.
In my experience, cloud computing can save you money in the right situations, plus it can reduce IT hassles. Here are 3 ways we have seen companies save money:
1) Reduced Upfront Costs for Hardware
With cloud computing, the service provider sets up and maintains the hardware, so your company does not have to. For example, rather than setting up a server to use Exchange just for your company, you get access to the Exchange server of the service provider. Therefore, you do not need to invest the $4000 for the initial hardware required. This can be particularly valuable for smaller life sciences companies where it would take a long time to recoup the cost of the hardware investment.
2) Lowered the Cost of Management
When you no longer have servers in-house, you dramatically reduce the amount of time needed for IT support (server maintenance, software patches, etc.). This makes it more cost effective to use an IT services provider rather than in-house support. You get the same coverage (or sometimes more coverage) for end-users at a lower total cost.
3) No Need to Upgrade in 3-5 Years
In addition to avoiding upfront costs of hardware, using a cloud solution eliminates the need for companies to upgrade the hardware and software for an application. It is all included in the monthly user or access fee.
Cloud computing does not save money in every instance, and may be more expensive particularly for larger companies, so you need to do a careful analysis to understand what makes the most sense for your organization. However, it is definitely worth considering when you are first looking to add an application or upgrade your software or hardware.
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