Will you be ready if I told you today that it’s best for all your applications to move from the on-premise data center to a cloud-based data center? The answer from most of you will be a straight no. Every organization before shifting their applications or data from on-premise to the cloud have had interviews  with experts at length, gathered input from different stakeholders of the company, assessed risk, created a strategy to reduce risk, and interviewed the vendors to understand what is that they would be offering.

This gives businesses a blueprint for moving their applications from their own data centers to cloud, the enterprise cloud strategy. However, with time, as the business starts using the cloud technology and develops various applications, someone during one of the meetings will come up with a question: Did going to the cloud proved beneficial? They would want to know some metrics that illustrate either success or failure. 

Most cloud users think that having a number of applications on the cloud means success. Some even mention about the money they have saved from not having to spend on the storage capacity, or after shutting them down, or list down all the benefits provided by the cloud provider for your applications.

Douglas Toombs, VP Analyst at the research and consulting firm Gartner, might have a solution for when you want to show how effective cloud data centers have been, compared to others. Consider Kilowatts as your metric for cloud-migration progress. It removes other complicated variables that make up the total cost of data center operations and makes it simple enough to communicate to other non-technical business executives.

For example, suppose an organization wants to move 50% of its data processing out of its 1 MW data center, then the goal should be to load out the output of data center UPS by 500 kW. Therefore, the organization doesn’t need to individually go through servers, storage, or networking devices costing per year. Even the cooling factor can be calculated for data centers by calculating the downstream load of the UPS.