IDG Enterprise’s 2016 Cloud Computing Survey executive summary shows that at least 70 percent of U.S. organizations are using some form of cloud technology. Added to that, the 2017 BDO Technology Outlook Survey indicates that 74 percent of tech chief financial officers (CFOs) say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their businesses in 2017. Cloud computing will soon be our norm, as more and more organizations realize the benefits and make the shift.
Moving to the cloud, however, despite the promised benefits, does not come without its challenges. One thing I've discussed before is ensuring that your network is prepared. Recently, however, I had the opportunity to discuss additional common cloud mistakes with some cloud and storage experts.
Gordon Davey, head of cloud architecture for Willis Towers Watson, shared that one of the common mistakes companies make is, "aiming for the extremes. Whether it’s organizations that expect to go from no cloud usage, to being ‘all-in’ within 12 months, or IT departments that are ‘certain’ their organization could never make use of cloud, and end up having to manage lots of ‘shadow IT’ departments."
Similarly, Ian Moyse, sales director of Natterbox and board member of Cloud Industry Forum, shared that, "companies often assume or are over sold on cloud being the answer to everything, every time for every customer.” Moyse believes that, "like any solution or form factor, it has its place and can be transformational. However, do not assume the cloud is always the solution."
I tend to agree with Moyse, as oftentimes organizations get on the newest and fastest train in hopes of improving their bottom lines, but they get on the wrong car, without a travel guide.
Davey also suggested that, "another common ‘extreme’ issue is making polar assumptions on the skills needed to manage a transformed cloud environment. Often the assumption will either be that ‘it’s just someone else’s computer’ and that no new skills will be needed, which is a recipe for disaster, or that everything is completely different and that nothing of what is used today can be re-purposed. As with most things in life, the key is to get the right balance."
Bernard Golden, tech innovator and bestselling author of "Amazon Web Services for Dummies" notes that, "the most common mistake organizations make is that they think of cloud environments like their on-premises environment, only remote." Golden went on to say that, "cloud computing offers less reliability of individual infrastructure components, commonly requiring new application designs that use redundancy to achieve resiliency. In addition, the major providers offer a rich set of complementary services (e.g., caching, text search, etc.) that can accelerate application development." Golden advises that, "viewing cloud environments as just like on-premises, where infrastructure is assumed to be reliable and any required services require software installation, maintenance, and management, fails to take advantage of some of the greatest benefits of cloud computing."
Gartner declares that a company with a corporate “no-cloud” policy in 2020 would be as rare as a company today operating without Internet. Moyse recommends that companies, "always consider the cloud options available, do their diligence and do not assume all clouds are born equal." He further suggests that organizations, "understand and contrast where Saas, PaaS and IaaS fit and consider their best position on private, public or hybrid clouds for their own specific requirements, goals and skillsets."
In addition Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting and storage expert, recommends that, "businesses take into account the time and effort to transfer their data to the cloud. There are many ways to do this, but they all take time and effort."
Are you moving to the cloud? Here are some best practices to consider.