|By Sunil Pathak||
|November 28, 2012 09:00 AM EST||
With the cloud space getting crowded each day, cloud service providers list a host of benefits by moving to the ‘Pay as you Go' model.... Among other benefits, reduced capital expenses (fixed Capex costs), and increased operating expenses (variable Opex costs) is listed as a key benefit.
The article attempts to analyze this.
In general, from an accounting perspective, by shifting from a capex to opex based model, the benefits can be many. Some of these could be:
- Use of Opex allows deducting expense in the current year and reduces tax liability applied on net income.
- Opex benefits due to time value of money (100 $$ saved today is better than 100 $$ saved next year)
- No upfront capex expenditure if cost of capital is high and /or capital is not available
- By civerting capex to opex, the capital saved can be used elsewhere giving a better yield.
All points taken, if you ask a accountant, he would say that it's just accounting mechanics... He will also list down couple of points that go against this and as one can notice most of the cloud vendors do not mention this.
- Opex decreases the company's book value as the expense moves to profit & loss statement hitting the bottom line.
- Opex decreases the company's EBITDA.
- Cost of On-demand services is always high as they carry a utility premium. Think of renting a car vs. a buying a car. By renting a service, you are in a way borrowing money from the service provider, and paying the loan back to them in monthly payments.
- P&L, Balancesheet and cash flow statement looks less attractive. More often than not, the real tangible benefits of moving from capex to opex are governed by other technical / business factors .
Capex to opex movement is just an accounting measure and often tactical. It may well serve some short term financial objectives that the company needs but it is hard to prove that this is indeed true in the long run.
What Is Better: Capex or Opex
Should one really care about the opex and capex debate and what should be the choice? Or this is contextual. Often, the reasons of moving from Capex to Opex could be very different and purely financial. For e.g:
- Shortage / Availability of capital
- High cost of capital
- Overall economic environment which impact investment decisions.
- Better use of available capital
- Benefits from alternate capex investment outweighs the higher cost of ‘pay as you go service' in the long run.
The objectives could be the other way around also (Reduce Opex and increase Capex), for e.g,:
- To boost profits (artificially, some may say) to report to investors and increase shareholder value
- A higher value of assets on its balance sheet
- Cost of capital is cheap and readily available.
- No better use of capital What this means is that the movement of capex to opex or vise versa is highly contextual.
It may all sound good due to current economic environment and capital constraints but may not hold good in all cases and in the long run
The Real Benefits
The real benefit must be seen from both Financial as well as business / technical objectives. Once the business / technical objectives are ascertained, the appropriate financial treatment (capex / opex) need to be done based on the objectives / constraints. For example, the financial needs of a company could be:
- Optimizing capital investment due to shortage / Availability of capital
- Optimize overall Cost of Capital
- Workaround the difficult economic environment which impact investment decisions.
- Investment Options at hand
- Better profit reporting to investors and increase shareholder value
- Higher value of assets on balance sheet
- Better Cash flow management The financial objective may be tactical in many cases and may change over a course of time.
That said, the real reasons behind a ‘pay as you go' model or so called ‘opex' model, may be unrelated to the financial context with very different objectives (Often business driven). These could be:
Better Utilization Rates
Here is where the real benefits of shared services come into play. If a company is using less than 30% of installed capacity, ‘pay as you go' model can give significant cost benefits. If it is already using more than 70 %, the benefits may not be that high as utility services come at a premium as compared to owned service for obvious reasons..
- Operational advantages
- Service level improvements
- User satisfaction considerations
- Keeping pace with the technology upgrades
Due to the rapid changes in technology, it doesn't make sense to sink or locking money into equipment that's surpassed by the very next model. Opex in the form of pay as you go models help in this regard. Costs are reduced and shifted from capital expenses to operating expenses, which save money. The capital saved can be used elsewhere in more productive investments or reduce the cost of capital.
- Better scalability, metering, automation and virtualization - all for less money than a traditional data center.
Bottom line is that CAPEX to OPEX shift should rarely be the deciding factor in a systems selection.
The choice architecture should be based upon meeting the business and technical requirements.
A company can choose to use a public shared cloud - on rent and hence opex based model OR go for a private cloud - owned and capex OR an internal cloud (virtualized) that can satisfy all the business / technical requirements for the CIO while also meeting the financial objectives for the CFO.
It all depends on the context. A WIN-WIN situation for all is one that should be looked at.
Brief on Opex and Capex
Capital expenditures are expenses to create assets (or add value to an existing asset) for future benefts with a life that extends beyond the tax year.
- Cannot be fully deducted in the period when they were incurred. Tangible assets (building) intangible assets ( h Money spent on inventory falls under capex ardware etc) are depreciated and intangible assets (patent etc) are amortized over time.
- Money spent on inventory falls under capex
- Show up in Balance Sheet and Cash Flow from Investing head in the Cash flow statement
Refers refers to expenses incurred in the course of ordinary business, such as sales, general and administrative expenses (and excluding COGS, taxes, depreciation and interest
- Operating expenses are fully deducted in the accounting period during which they were incurred.
- Show up in Profit and loss statement.
- End up in Cash Flow from operating activities head in the Cash flow statement
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Mar. 22, 2017 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,899
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 22, 2017 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 754
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 22, 2017 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,109
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 22, 2017 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 741
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 22, 2017 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,191
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 22, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,343
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 22, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 793
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Mar. 22, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 8,096
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 22, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,377
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 22, 2017 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 590
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
Mar. 22, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,242
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 22, 2017 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,569
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 22, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,303
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Mar. 22, 2017 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,918
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
Mar. 22, 2017 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,339
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Mar. 22, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,483
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Mar. 22, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,104
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Mar. 22, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 7,167
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Mar. 22, 2017 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,269
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Mar. 22, 2017 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,263