Here at iuvo Technologies, we’re huge proponents of cloud computing. We talk about it on our blog a lot, amongst ourselves and especially with our clients. We have our heads in the cloud, so to speak because we leverage cloud computing to help organizations, including credit unions increase security, flexibility, and scalability, and most of all, save a lot of money. In fact, Brookings Institution reports that federal agencies generally save anywhere from 25-50% by migrating to the cloud.
The way that the cost savings manifest themselves may not be completely evident at first. After all, you do still have to pay for your cloud services. In this post, we’ll take a look at four (possibly unexpected) ways that cloud migration can save your credit union money.
1. Reduction in Hardware Costs
This is perhaps one of the most easily recognizable cost-saving measures of cloud computing. Your credit union won’t have to pay for additional physical hardware or server space every time more storage space is needed or an application needs its own dedicated server to run efficiently. Additionally, you won’t be responsible for maintaining or upgrading the hardware that is required to run the applications (since that’s the application owner’s issue, not yours), which will carry long-term benefits.
2. Reduction in Overhead Costs
We’re separating overhead costs from hardware costs because what we’re referring to here are the administrative overhead costs. For starters, you won’t need to hire a dedicated IT team member to manage a single application. Next, you won’t be required to rent and maintain (including paying utilities) the space where your data is being stored or the space where the application is living (i.e.: a server room).
For organizations that are doing backup and disaster recovery right, they usually have their main equipment residing on location with them, which can up the monthly utility bills due to the power used to run the servers and any climate control option. Then they typically have their data being replicated to a co-location site that’s ideally across the country, but in many cases is simply across the state. That means they’re paying a fee for renting the co-lo space, as well as any additional costs associated with actually maintaining the physical hardware (having their application developers installing and updating programs, etc.)
With cloud computing, none of this is an issue. The application owner maintains their own server space and co-locations. Your monthly fees to use the services help pay those costs, of course, but those costs are far, far lower than what you’d pay to maintain all of that on your own.
3. Flexibility for Scale
One of the best things about cloud computing is the flexibility that it offers its users. For some cloud services, you pay a monthly flat fee for access regardless of how many users you have using the application. Other applications require a per user, per month fee - but in either case, the cost of these usage fees is generally fairly low compared to the price of the applications of yore, where a perpetual license for one version of the software could cost hundreds of dollars each, and you needed multiple licenses… and an upgrade every couple of years.
Additionally, cloud services often allow you to add and drop users as needed, no questions asked. Lose a client in the middle of the month? That’s fine, just cancel their account and pay a prorated amount for their monthly fee, no cancelation fees necessary. Need to add five new users immediately? Awesome - just sign them up and get started, no worrying about buying 5 licenses, getting the software installed, and then finding yourself in a position where you actually only needed 4 licenses and you spent a couple hundred non-refundable dollars for nothing.
4. Increases in Productivity/Decreases in Downtime
Finally, and perhaps the biggest draw of cloud computing is that it can have a hugely positive impact on productivity and downtime.
Gone are the days where an IT teammate needs to install software on each individual workstation, adjust the specific permissions per person - all so that an employee can use a program only on that specific device. With cloud computing, employees now have the flexibility to work anytime, anywhere as long as they’ve got a reliable and secure Internet connection.
Big blizzard coming your way and the office is closing for the afternoon? No worries! Everyone can just pack up, head home, and handle their work from the comfort of their kitchen table with a cup of hot cocoa at their side. That also means that the big blizzard that might knock out power to the office, or even to your co-location won’t have an impact on your cloud services. They’ll be up and running, doing their thing in cyberspace, so your credit union won’t need to worry about lost revenue during days when your locations may be closed.
To learn more about cloud computing and how it could benefit your credit union, schedule your free IT Assessment.