Don’t go to the cloud if you see no benefit.
And in a lot of situations there is no benefit in jumping on the cloud band wagon.
But a lot of companies are seeing benefits in cloud, yet they feel constrained in realizing those benefits.
Here are a couple of reasons that we see in reality.
First, there is the fear that security and assurance will be insufficient. This is a very good reason. Even though most data breaches do not occur in cloud environments at this time, that does not mean that that will remain so as cloud adoption grows. At the same time, the potential for having good security in the cloud is very great, mostly. Which leads us to a second reason…
Second, there is lack of understanding of the way assurance can be handled optimally. Large corporations have lots of cloud applications already, in their so-called ‘shadow IT’, but they lack effective procedures to make that compliant. As a result a lot of different solutions exist which escape attention because of the complexity of getting that assurance.
Third, lack of competence in realizing the benefits of the cloud service model. Most essential to the cloud is a service model that allows for a clear separation of responsibilities between a provider and a consumer. (Actually, this is also beneficial for internal IT and private cloud.) The service model is about having more or less standardized service. Consumers that try to impose their own idiosyncrasies on cloud contracts are only shooting themselves in the foot. Providers can fall into the same trap when they try to accommodate different needs of different clients in different ways. It tremendously complicates the internal delivery processes.
A long time ago I transitioned from working at EDS (the big systems integrator that is now part of HP) to a relatively small but pan-European internet provider. I was amazed by their productivity. They ran systems with 2 to 3 people that would take EDS more than a dozen. It was incredible. How did they do that?
Well, it was not about the long hours they put in. At EDS people were also doing overtime.
It wasn’t that the internet provider cut corners on quality. Quality challenges were found everywhere in the industry. In fact, the internet provider did more on spam filtering than EDS could at that time.
The big difference was probably that EDS made every solution unique to the customer, and the internet provider only created solutions that would scale across customers. In other words: the internet provider provided a well defined scalable service.
This is the essence of the cloud model. Standardized service leads to lower cost and better quality.
So, in order to realize benefits from cloud applications, you need an understanding of the real risks of cloud computing, have an efficient assurance process and learn to work with standardized services.
If you want to improve those skills, consider one of my cloud trainings and workshops.
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