5 Steps to Improve Cloud Computing Financial Management

cloudguy159228108Recently, cloud computing has put the pressure on IT to match the “free and unlimited” cloud offerings. A key benefit of cloud computing is the ability to pay-as-you-go, and successful IT leaders know that usage-based IT can quickly become more expensive than what it replaces.

Cloud computing is a usage-based service delivery model. By design, cloud computing makes it easy to find and use services, and this ease of access is becoming a threat to IT. For example, business users have access to cloud services (i.e. web-based mail) with “free and unlimited” storage, and they expect the same from IT. Business users increasingly find that the services they’ve become dependent on won’t integrate with other cloud or private services or systems. Business users often don’t understand integration, security, and support issues, nor do they understand why IT cannot provide the same services. It’s hard to fight these issues, but you can act as a broker of cloud services for your business. This will help your business users make better decisions as it improves your relationship with the business.

Like it or not your customers will compare you to public cloud computing services. If you resist efforts to match cloud computing services, business users can and will work around you. Instead, develop a plan to assist business users in making informed cloud computing selections.

  • Review your existing IT charging or billing systems. Keep an eye out for complexity and how it is currently automated.
  • Assume that your existing system will require changes to support cloud computing.
  • Understand what it’ll take to tie capacity forecasting to billing in order to match consumption volumes to those with which business users are already familiar.
  • Decide on how your charging and billing system should work and include business users in this process.
  • Start creating a cross-functional team that includes business users as equal stakeholders. Announce your plans to become a cloud broker and provide assistance to ensure business success with cloud computing.

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