Some organisations are turning their internal private cloud initiatives into revenue generating opportunities – witness both the global technology company Ricoh and the US provider of financial services and asset management State Street.
Although Ricoh’s initial implementation of a private cloud infrastructure across its European businesses was driven by efficiency initiatives and a drive to reduce the company’s carbon emissions, it has also been fundamental to its transition from being just a provider of hardware to also offering enterprise document and IT management services. ‘The Ricoh private cloud is not just an internal project, but also a customer-facing one that enables us to help our customers meet their day-to-day IT resources and make some of their business processes more efficient,’ said Ian Winham, Ricoh chief information and finance officer.
State Street is building its own private cloud network with the aim of charging its customers to run their applications on it, as part of its efforts to cut $600m in costs and position itself for accelerated growth. ‘We have to address business opportunities and operational inefficiencies and strategic issues within the tech organisation to drive a business result,’ explained Chris Peretta, the CIO who manages 6,000 IT staff from the 30,000 workforce at State Street. It’s a move that could, eventually put the asset management company into competition with the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure, and other providers of cloud computing services.