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6/8/2010
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Calculate Benefits Of Cloud Computing

Understanding the potential of the cloud and spreading that message across your organization is the idea behind Google's cloud calculator.

Understanding the potential of the cloud and spreading that message across your organization is the idea behind Google's cloud calculator.Moving to the cloud isn't a decision any business owner or IT manager should take lightly and calculating the benefits is a key step to reaching that decision. Smartly, Google has stepped into the breach with the Go Google cloud calculator.

The reality is that this tool is more about explaining that cloud than calculating the tangible IT benefits. That has value for any change management efforts within an organization and for managers or directors attempting to sell the idea to a board or execs.

The double meaning of Go Google cloud calculator is intentional; it doesn't calculate the upside of moving to any cloud, rather moving to Google Apps specifically. The calculator displays the drop-dead simple user experience that has become Google's hallmark - 2 questions, 2 minutes - and functions as much as an advertisement for Google as a useful assessment tool.

In fact, the Go Google cloud calculator will seem eerily familiar if you view the intro video for the product before using. From the touting of familiar brand names such National Geographic, Konica Minolta, and Jaguar Land Rover to the numbers that flit about the screen detailing the savings, this is a promotion no question about it.

However, despite entering only 2 criteria - company name and number of employees (so effectively 1 criterion) --- the calculator does eventually generate some unique numbers for the values entered. Here's what I got:

  • For a 1-employee organization, the calculator estimated savings of $34,266 and 56 hours
  • For a 150-employee organization, the calculator estimated savings of $477,998 and 8371 hours
  • For an 825-employee organization, the calculator estimated savings of $2,488,189 and 46,040 hours

And when you get to end, the real genius of thing (for Google at least) comes into focus when you're presented with the choice to generate a unique URL, a PDF, a poster, or a spreadsheet. For any manager or so-called change management agent who's struggled to sell a superior on a concept this could be useful.

The PDF option generated a 14-page slide deck or handout with high-level information. The poster option put all the data on one page (click here to see the PDF poster for the fictitious 150-employee company BFT). The custom site put it all in a customized web presentation (click here for the fictitious BFT's web presentation). The spreadsheet is likely the option that has the most legs as it allows fine-tuning of multiple variables (you can do this in the calculator as well) that allow more precise modeling.

Go give it a whirl. For the price of 2 questions and two minutes, what you got to lose?

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