How much affect is cloud computing going to have on hardware investment and fixed asset management?
If you are able to outsource your hardware needs then how long is it until you’re going to be able to get rid of all of your desk-based office ITC hardware, empty the cab room and throw out 90% of your printers and scanners?
We’re more used to the cloud than we think, we’re all fully conversant with gmail, hotmail, Facebook and Twitter so conducting all our business activities online is no great leap of the imagination. You may be worried about data storage and confidentiality compliance but you’ve already got disaster recovery contingencies in place, right? And where’s that stored? Yes, it’s on the cloud.
If you’re going to fully embrace the cloud you’ll find that all those cabs full of routers and hubs are redundant, you can clear all of that office space for more staff working at as great a capacity from a Chrome or other cloud OS as the rest of your staff who are still tied to their desk based PCs.
Actually, you probably don’t need the office at-all any longer, most of us struggle into work each day knowing full well that we could probably do our work just as effectively at home as in the office, if you keep all of your work related applications, tools and nick-knacks on the cloud there is nothing that you can access at work that you can’t get at home. Of course this puts an end to the duvet day or ‘pulling a sicky.’ Which is a shame but doing a day’s work without the rigmarole of having to actually get out of bed is something very few vocations offered before now.
It’s not just hardware and equipment that you no longer need to spend on, buying licences for every seat or a certain number of users per session, once you’re on the cloud your IaaS provider makes all the software that you can handle available as part of your service, if you need to expand or upgrade you can do so for the duration of that campaign or project and, once you’ve finished using it, revert back to your normal subscription/contract.
This new ‘on demand’ and ‘pay as you play’ form of service provision is seen as a fairer and more cost affective way of sourcing web hosting and data storage. Gone are the days of overbuying services and assets on a ‘just in case we need it’ model, instead service providers are charging for what you use as you use it. You wouldn’t buy a years worth of phone calls up front based on the maximum number of calls you were likely to make and now you don’t have to get internet and web hosting services in the same way either.
About: Dan Cash is a feature writer and former financial researcher. Accountants can use Sage 1000 fixed asset software or whatever their capital accounting software is their preference to judge the tax, outlay and insurance benefits of selling off all the current office equipment you own and giving each member of staff a laptop.