Cloud computing, is always more expensive than doing it yourself. The attraction of cloud computing from a finance perspective is that instead of having to show N thousands of dollars of debt from a capital expense, all you show is a monthly bill (of course over the same 3 year period you could have purchased a datacenter bu that's never stopped a CFO from choosing less expensive now over less expensive in total). One of the myths of cloud computing is that you somehow gain infinite scalability. Before we called it cloud computing we called it "just throw more hardware at it". The secret of cloud computing is that your scalability is determined by your application, what technologies it's using and its architecture. Yes, you can probably get more performance or concurrent users out of throwing more hardware at it this time, but sooner or later more memory or faster CPUs isn’t going to do anything useful. I can guarantee you that “the cloud” isn’t going to advise you on how to restructure your storage so it will horizontally scale to a petabyte of data.
Since cloud solutions (Google AppEngine, Amazon, etc.) do more for you
Really, what is the "more" they are doing for you other than providing the hardware required to run your OS of choice? They aren't doing backups, they aren't providing OS licenses.Keep in mind, that with many of the "free" services like goog app engine, there is no SLA involved, so they can't even guarantee that the platform will be up.
So here's what the cloud does offer:
- quick startup time
- inexpensive entry costs
- convienient 1 stop shopping (eg no looking for datacenters, comparing hardware etc)
That certainly might be worthwhile to you but it's going to add to the expense sheet.