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Migrating Your IT Organization to Cloud Computing: Scalability

One of the critical questions IT leaders face today is whether to move all or part of their operation to the Cloud. When CIOs begin to consider the reasons why they should embrace cloud computing, they should not overlook one important benefit: scalability.


Scalability means your IT organization can quickly and easily grow or shrink depending on the business need at hand. When a CIO can scale their services for the company, they add tremendous value by providing the level of support the company needs at exactly the time when it is needed. This is an important concept anytime, but it is especially prudent now as the economic recovery moves at an uncertain pace.

Traditional IT Infrastructure Cycle

If you are not currently in the cloud, this diagram illustrates how you are probably doing things.

Chart courtesy of GoGrid

Traditionally, when a business unit has a need you have to guess what your maximum capacity will be and build out to it. CIOs often have to over buy to meet demand because  of long budget, procurement, and provisioning cycles. You will also likely have periods of under buying where you have reached the capacity on your current systems, but you can't add additional resources right away. Usage is negatively affected by these periods, so to address the need you over buy again. This cycle wastes money due to an unbalanced use of company resources.


With cloud computing, lead times shrink from months to minutes. It is as simple as adding user licenses in most cases. Your company pays only for what you provision and use, so your capacity can very closely match your demand. There is minimal over buying and no under buying, so usability is never sacrificed.

Cloud Infrastructure Cycle


Chart courtesy of GoGrid

Imagine you suddenly need to scale up for a huge project or new client. In your old infrastructure, you would add capacity as quickly as possible to get the business. When the project is complete and you need to reduce your capacity, you are stuck with unused infrastructure. By the time you need that capacity again, it could be out of date. Cloud computing significantly reduces this issue.

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