But if that app's a long-term hit, Edwards thinks it usually will make sense to bring that in-house. Manpower runs data centers in co-location facilities, with its own staff running some of the operation and an outsourcer running other parts. With that view, infrastructure-as-a-service just becomes a new end point along the outsourcing spectrum, seen as higher-priced variable capacity needed at launch, before moving to a more conventional outsourcing or in-house model at a lower long-term cost once the app is at a large but more predictable scale.
Cloud In The Budget Process
Last year, Manpower considered SaaS on a case-by-case basis as needs arose--such as implementing Salesforce for CRM. But there wasn't a guiding strategy for how and when to consider cloud. As the IT team did due diligence for those projects, it built a list of characteristics that help determine if a project or application makes sense for SaaS or cloud infrastructure.
This June, as Manpower starts its annual budgeting and planning process, it'll have a different approach to cloud. "This planning cycle, now that we have the guidelines of what makes sense from a cloud perspective or not, we'll start targeting specific pieces and go out and see if there's a cloud solution for this," Edwards says. "We didn't do that last year."
Here are some of the filters that will steer projects toward or away from cloud computing.