Back-of-the-napkin math is useful for quickly detailing an idea and expressing costs in simple terms. We’ve frequently seen businesses rely on this kind of calculation in their early stages of planning for Microsoft Server 2008 end of life. The business owner would look at the upfront cost of a new server and at expected monthly costs in the cloud. They’d divide the on-premise cost by the cloud cost to determine how many months it would take before the cloud became more expensive than an on-premise solution – typically about 24 months.
But this brief analysis only looks at initial costs for on-premise and ignores ongoing investments businesses make over the life of a server, potentially costing more money in the long run.
3 Questions People Overlook When Analyzing Cloud vs. On-Premise Costs
1. What will I spend maintaining a physical server?
They won’t come in monthly increments, but there are ongoing costs you need to build into your total on-premise server calculation. Consider what you’ll spend on:
- Security patches and critical updates
- Repairs to hardware over the life of the machine
- Payment to the technician and costs for new equipment
- Heating and cooling for the server storage room
Review what you’ve spent on your server over the past 2 to 3 years to get an estimate for the additional maintenance costs.
2. How much will I need to invest to secure an on-premise server?
Before you say on-premise is more secure, consider this: Who will make a bigger investment in cybersecurity this year – your organization or Microsoft? Needless to say, the large cloud providers will win every time. When you have an on-premise server, you’ll spend to properly configure and then monitor the machines to prevent threats.
You also have physical security concerns. Your data and hardware will be exposed to extreme weather events, power surges and freak accidents – like pipes bursting. To avoid losing information, you’ll need to invest in off-site backups, which are increasingly in the cloud.
3. What will downtime cost my business?
Labor is the highest expense for most businesses and when your server goes down, you’re paying your employees to sit around and wait for systems to come back online.
The cost is compounded by the business opportunities you lose while the server is down. Clients won’t be able to place orders or use your services. Current customers may avoid your business in the future. A prospective client may decide to use one of your competitors.
Deciding When to Migrate to the Cloud
Only move to the cloud when and if it makes sense for your business. If your machine is approaching Microsoft end of life or needs to be replaced, you can use this as an opportunity to explore other options. Consult a trusted IT adviser who can provide an unbiased opinion.
How to Minimize Downtime During Your Cloud Migration
If you decide to move to the cloud, you don’t want to incur costs you’re trying to avoid, like downtime. A migration is not a simple process and you should look for an IT provider who has the expertise to assess your environment and manage your migration.
Pre-migration assessments secure your business
Assessments are vital when you want to move certain line-of-business applications to the cloud.
If the application is provided by a smaller vendor who can’t invest in cybersecurity at the same level as larger vendors, like Microsoft, you’ll want your IT provider to do an assessment to ensure your move to the cloud won’t compromise productivity or security.
Your employees shouldn’t notice a change
Our ideal outcome for a migration is: Your employees don’t realize we’ve done anything. If we migrate your email on Wednesday night, we want your employees to come to work on Thursday and have everything exactly how they left it. From rules about which messages are archived to how Outlook is laid out, we set everything up to function exactly the same as before the migration. We go through this effort because there shouldn’t be productivity hiccups during a migration and your user experience shouldn’t decline when your company moves to the cloud. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an assessment.