cloud valuations: measuring the value of on-demand IT services

A lot of people are talking about value lately. From the value of Apple outsourcing manufacturing to China to the value of the new application market that has erupted in the past couple years.

Even individuals are questioning the value of different things, such as value of a company project, department or position, or even the value of IT.

Has all this talk about value been amplified recently because of a tough global economy? Or have I only just begun hearing the conversation?

So, I was interested to learn we’ve just released a new white paper with Forrester on measuring the value of the cloud.

In late 2011, we worked with Forrester Consulting to review the metrics used to evaluate the ROI of Infrastructure as a Service. It turns out that:

  • on-demand flexibility, capacity and scalability are the most important drivers towards the adoption of cloud computing, before capital expenditures and costs reductions; these reduce costs, but also allow the IT department to clearly illustrate business impacts
  • yet, most enterprises are still only measuring cost reductions when estimating the value of cloud computing
  • they are, however, overcoming the traditional barriers of security and compliance, as illustrated by steadily increasing adoption rates

Some of the best practices recommended by Forrester include:

  • the need for enterprises to identify what metrics are needed depending on their attitude and the maturity of their cloud adoption
  • industries can benefit from new business models fueled by cloud resources; cloud resources are not only an alternative to existing on-premises infrastructure
  • the importance of identifying which workloads will generate the best ROI when moved to IaaS, especially considering the elasticity, uptime, security and legal compliance

From my perspective, the white paper reinforces the ongoing and never-ending need of IT to align, match and measure its activities to business outcomes.  Cloud-based services aren’t going change that need, but they might make it easier to measure the impact.

To get the full picture of the study, you can download the white paper here (registration required).

Once you've read the paper, we'd love to hear your thoughts based on your own experiences.


image © Henry Bonn -

Katie DeTitta

I've spent more than 17 years in global telecommunications, and was formerly responsible for international social media activities at Orange Business. I enjoy making technology accessible to non-techies and I'm a strong supporter of flexible working.