Cloud implementation can mean many different things to many different businesses. To a smaller company it might simply mean sharing company files through Google Drive or Office 365. For a larger company it might mean full virtualisation of their company’s network infrastructure.
The feature of the cloud that gets the most attention is how it seems to be everywhere and nowhere at once, or more to the point that it is not physical hardware. This means that one of the main benefits of the cloud often gets overlooked and that is the advantages it offers in how businesses implement their hardware.
Versatility & Efficiency
The core improvements that cloud solutions facilitate in terms of hardware are in versatility and efficiency. The most obvious improvement a company can make in the versatility of their computer hardware is with a greater diversity of mobile options.
Incorporating Mobile Devices
In the typical office set up most of us are familiar with, every staff member is assigned a fixed workstation and desk. A cloud based office means staff are no longer stuck to a particular work space and a hot-desk style layout can be implemented. Staff simply sign in to whichever workstation is available and access their own files.
By introducing different computer types such as tablets and laptops, staff can seamlessly move from one technology format to the next. A sales rep can come into the office from the road where she was using a laptop, sit down at a desktop to complete her work and then go into a sales meeting with a tablet device to demonstrate your latest product to a prospective client, seamlessly transitioning from one device to the next, using the best features of each for the task at hand.
Which platforms can provide the most benefit to your business? Utilising the same operating system across each platform will likely make transitioning and file sharing simpler.
Depending on the type of cloud solution a business implements they could potentially be offloading a lot of processing as well as storage power over to the cloud.
If they are just using cloud storage they will still need processing power to run applications on local machines but can potentially save money in purchasing machines with smaller hard drives and upgrade storage with flash drives or super fast SSDs.
If a business implements full remote virtualisation then they can run very streamlined devices that need no more power than is required to run a standard web browser.
Processor power and RAM are two of the main factors that determine the cost of computers. Netbooks and notebooks are typically designed for light processing using less RAM.
Smart Purchasing Choices
Saving money on core machines leaves more resources for a greater variety of devices such as tablets and other mobile devices that provide additional versatility and flexibility to your staff.
It also means that replacing machines is far less expensive. Many companies find themselves holding out with struggling computers while they try to save for powerful machines they think will last longer than the previous computer. It makes more sense to buy a more cost effective computer when you need it.
Price is obviously the main factor here. Looking at how much a computer will cost you per day can help put this in perspective. A €500 computer that lasts 3 years will cost less than 70c per day.
Less power hungry machines means more efficiency in terms of energy consumption. This can have a real impact on your company’s bottom line when it comes to paying energy bills at the end of each month.
Energy providers are continually increasing their prices. Smart businesses will take the time to look for more energy efficient equipment to reduce those increasing bills as much as possible.
Wattage is the key factor in energy consumption. At 15c per kWh, 10Watts works out at 24c per month. That might not seem like a lot but consider you might be looking at a difference of 50W or more between machines.
With multiple machines, over the course of the year you could be looking at a difference of hundreds of Euros. A more energy efficient computer may pay for itself after just a few years.
Also keep in mind how much processing power you are getting per Watt. Some processors are specifically designed to provide more processing for less power consumption.
Making Every Opportunity Count
Many businesses are looking at the potential benefits of stepping into the cloud. It is a smart choice for a lot of businesses and can deliver real advantages. The businesses that factor in the hardware opportunities of the cloud will certainly gain the most.