Top 10 Cloud-Based Myths
Last week we compared a few differences to consider between Cloud based vs On-Premise software solutions.
Over the weekend I read an article that predicted cloud storage revenue to grow more than 28% annually to reach $65 billion in 2020. The driving force behind this growth is the ability for cloud-based solutions to deliver a more cost-effective services than on-premises systems can ever hope to achieve.
However, the article adds, most IT department are still afraid or feel overwhelmed when facing the opportunity to migrate or integrating their data because it’s too “complex” or time consuming. These are just one of the myths associated with cloud based solutions.
Garner highlights 10 of the most common myths for cloud solutions expressed by users today. Over the next week, we will be sharing their findings as well as advice on overcoming those fears.
Here are the first 5 Myths:
Myth 1: Cloud Is Always About Money
Rarely are financial considerations not part of an IT decision process, especially when that process concerns cloud computing. Still, the prevalent myth about the cloud is that it always saves money. While this is sometimes the case, there are many other reasons cited for migrating to the cloud, the most common of which is for agility.
Gartner’s 2014 CIO survey shows that cost savings account for only 14% of the reasons for organizations’ use of the public cloud. While prices are dropping, especially for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), not all cloud service pricing is coming down (for example, most software as a service [SaaS]). Assuming that the cloud always saves money can lead to career-limiting promises. Saving money may end up one of the benefits, but it should not be taken for granted.
Advice: Don’t assume you will save money unless you have done the hard work of honestly analyzing the situation. Utilize total cost of ownership and other models on a case-by-case basis. Look beyond cost issues. Also, be certain to check with financial specialists about the implications that a switch from capital expenditure (capex) to operating expenditure (opex) may have. Don’t assume that opex is always better than capex. Keep revisiting analysis as the market and prices change often.
Myth 2: You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good
This highlights what is becoming known as “cloud washing” (referring to the tendency to call things cloud that are not). Some cloud washing is accidental and a result of legitimate confusion, but some is also based on a mistaken notion that something cannot be “good” unless it is cloud. IT organizations are also increasingly calling many things cloud as part of their efforts to gain funding and meet vague cloud demands and strategies. The subsequent myth is that people are falling into the trap of believing that if something is good it has to be cloud or that if it is not cloud based it cannot be good.
Advice: Call things what they are. Many other capabilities (e.g., automation, virtualization) and characteristics can be good and do not necessarily need to be cloud based. Allow these strategies to stand on their own as part of your overall process.
Myth 3: Cloud Should Be Used for Everything
This is related to Myth 2 and refers to the belief that the actual characteristics of the cloud are applicable to, or desirable for, everything. Clearly, there are some cases where there is a great fit. Examples include highly variable or unpredictable workloads, cases where there are clear savings, and those where self-service provisioning and reprovisioning are key. The cloud fits where value is placed on flexibility and the business has the ability to consume and pay for only what it needs when needed. However, not all applications and workloads benefit from the cloud. Unless there are cost savings, moving a legacy application that doesn’t change is not a good candidate.
Advice: The cloud may not benefit all workloads equally. Never assume that it does. Analyze applications on a case-by-case basis. Don’t be afraid to propose non-cloud solutions when appropriate.
Myth 4: “The CEO Said So” Is a Cloud Strategy
When asked about what their cloud strategy is, many companies don’t have one and the default is often that they are just doing what their CEO wants. Sometimes the CEO has in fact dictated that the cloud is the strategy (without a connection to any business goal). Hype and unrealistic expectations are often behind the interest. This is not a cloud strategy and is often based on one or more of the myths mentioned in this post.
Advice: A cloud strategy begins by identifying business goals and mapping potential benefits of the cloud to them, while mitigating the potential drawbacks. Cloud should be thought of as a means to an end. The end must be specified first.
Myth 5: We Need One Cloud Strategy or Vendor
It is natural to want to simplify and standardize. However, cloud computing is not one thing and a cloud strategy has to be based on this reality. Cloud services are broad and span multiple levels (IaaS, SaaS), models (“lift and shift,” cloud native), scope (internal, external) and applications. The nature of cloud services and existing interoperability standards can make the issue of limiting options less important, as those details are often hidden from the consumer. However, even if one vendor and one strategy are possible, many significant compromises will frequently have to be made. In such cases, focusing on the fundamental tactics can be just as important as the overall strategy.
Advice: A cloud strategy should be based on aligning business goals with potential benefits. Those goals and benefits are different in various use cases and should be the driving force for businesses, rather than any attempts to standardize on one offering or strategy.
That’s it for this post! Stay tuned next week for the next 5 myths.
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