2016 is the tipping point of enterprise cloud adoption. It has fast tracked through being a buzzword, to becoming a serious strategy for enterprise. However, there still lies many challenges - many companies are doing more barking than actual biting. They might migrate a few non-critical applications to the cloud but most of their core applications remain on premise.
Core applications not using cloud? You’re just playing house
In the adoption of cloud computing, have you seen this pattern before:
Step 1: Senior management envisioned to adopt a cloud first strategy for their core business.
Step 2: CIOs are fully on board with the vision, with an ambitious action plan to achieve in, say, 3 – 5 years.
Step 3: IT managers carries out research, normally concluding to 2 options:
1. Adopt public cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure.
2. Build a new cloud platform using OpenStack or other similar open source technology.
Step 4: Through PoC and trial and errors, they come to the following observations:
1. Many of the public cloud platforms’ offerings aren’t compatible, or fully meet with the requirements of the existing applications, so you can’t migrate some, or even majority of the applications.
2. Platforms built on open source only looks pretty. Reality is, you’re probably sending your cash into a blackhole – a stable architecture fully compatible with all your application functions is difficult to achieve.
Step 5: IT managers will report about the various issues and obstacles. Senior management won’t back down because their plan calls for an all-in cloud strategy.
Step 6: IT managers migrates only non-critical workloads or newly developed applications on the cloud. The migration plan for core applications is indefinitely shelved; while reports to the senior management states that the objective of cloud strategy has been reached. The objectives for making operations more agile, flexible and cost effective are all talk no game.
Why does enterprise cloud strategy always start with such vigour but tails off? Especially when it comes to the mission critical applications
When it comes to cloud strategy – it’s difficult to blame a lack of support on any specific persons – in fact senior managements are often the most enthusiastic. On the other hand, you can’t blame it on the maturity of the technology either; after all, the technologies of cloud computing has been around for a while now. The many successful dot-com companies are the very proof of that. Then, why is it so difficult to achieve a successful enterprise cloud strategy?
Through a survey of IT executives, we have the answer: cloud security is a primary concern.
What is "cloud security" exactly?
Currently, many cloud providers are competing to demonstrate their own security capabilities, such as anti-virus, intrusion detection and access control, in order to convince the users that their cloud is secured. However, we found that these so-called “security” concerns often has nothing to do with technologies. . The term “insecure” should be more accurately referred to as “uncertainty”. For enterprise IT professionals who are accustomed to managing legacy architectures, the risks and benefits of the cloud comes with a list of uncertainties, such as:
• Technical risks: Is the architecture robust enough to withstand a variety of failures and human errors, as well as the risks associated with migration?
• Non-technical risks: does your CSP have a long-standing reputation? Will it be obsolete in a few years? How to manage with new providers? Will your current provider give you full support?
• Cost savings is equally difficult to determine. Rapid expansion, dynamic allocation, flexible deployment, data mobility, cost savings; looks all good on paper, but no one can guarantee the actual performance, whether certain specifications and/or conditions are required to achieve a certain level of performance guarantee.
All these uncertainties take time to resolve. Instead of focusing on the maturity of technology, it is more important to focus more time on the market and ecosystem, as well as best practices; which will better benefit the users.
Does this mean enterprise should wait for a better opportunity before moving to cloud? Of course not! Stay tune for our next instalment on how businesses should go about moving to cloud.