|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
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and...
Oct. 21, 2016 03:54 PM EDT
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining senso...
Oct. 21, 2016 03:31 PM EDT
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 21, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 249
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 21, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 11,140
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Oct. 21, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,353
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Oct. 21, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,398
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
Oct. 21, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,196
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Oct. 21, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,426
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Oct. 21, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,778
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
Oct. 21, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 629
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
Oct. 21, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,454
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Oct. 21, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 906
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
Oct. 21, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 925
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Oct. 21, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 869
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 21, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,058
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Oct. 21, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,644
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
Oct. 21, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,232
Donna Yasay, President of HomeGrid Forum, today discussed with a panel of technology peers how certification programs are at the forefront of interoperability, and the answer for vendors looking to keep up with today's growing industry for smart home innovation. "To ensure multi-vendor interoperability, accredited industry certification programs should be used for every product to provide credibility and quality assurance for retail and carrier based customers looking to add ever increasing num...
Oct. 21, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 286
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Oct. 21, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,375
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Oct. 21, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,589