The answer to this question is not easy and I reckon that no one should try to answer it for you without having full knowhow and understanding of your present IT infrastructure! Your organization needs to research the Cloud Infrastructure and related costs and finally compare the results against the on-premise setup. The research should include hands-on experience and test runs of some of the organizations’ critical services with adequate sample data. To help you with the feasibility study Microsoft has made available an online Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator:
“Use the Windows Azure platform TCO calculator, and in 10 minutes or less, you’ll see how Windows Azure compares to on-premises solutions, quantify migration costs, and get a pricing overview.”
This is a recommended starting point, why? Since, getting migration and operational costs at an early stage can help senior management to decide whether moving or not to the Cloud (in this specific case to Azure). This would save the IT team from conducting further research and training on the specific solution if the decision by senior management is a no-go! They can skip to next solution or provider. So, I suggest do the costs homework first!
The costs calculator will help you determine the right Windows Azure Platform and provide a pricing overview, help you quantify the migration costs to the Cloud infrastructure and application delivery costs.
The cost analysis are based on the company’s industry, location, services/applications required and specs, user requirements, user and application growth and foreseeable intermittent spikes, etc. As you can see, the tool gathers quite a number of elements in order to compute an accurate estimate. The Windows Azure platform TCO calculator can be found here.