In this post, we identify five common myths and misconceptions that enterprises need to bust before they can be successful in their Cloud adoption initiatives.
According to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera, 91% of companies asked are already using public Cloud. What’s more, companies are planning to spend 24% more on public Cloud in 2019 than in 2018. In a competitive world, where the disruptors today can just as easily become the disrupted tomorrow, it is clear that the opportunities that cloud technology can enable, to rapidly innovate and differentiate, are too important to miss.
Before diving headfirst into your own cloud adoption initiatives you will want to separate the hype from the true benefits.
As with any emerging technology, the Cloud has collected its fair share of myths and misconceptions that can be disguised pitfalls for unwary businesses.
Cloud is cheaper by default – False!
Yes, adopting Cloud certainly creates opportunities for you to save costs. However, this does not mean that simply shifting your applications from your data centre to the cloud will automatically end up being cheaper for you to run. In fact, without effective governance in place, it could be more expensive.
This is why it is important to understand the differences in how your IT costs will change when you are operating in the cloud.
Your legacy infrastructure is typically procured on a CapEx model, which is based on a cycle of investing in, maintaining and upgrading hardware. Whilst you are always treading the fine line between underestimating demand and overestimating capacity, you are dealing with predictable asset lifecycles and fixed costs.
The cloud enables you to move to an OpEx model where you only pay for the resources and services you use. This introduces its own set of challenges as you learn to manage costs in a decentralized, consumption-based environment.
If you wish to see cloud adoption have a positive impact on your bottom line, you will need to understand cloud costs and implement effective cloud cost management governance and practices to manage this new paradigm. (Read more in our blog about ‘The Complicated World of Cloud Cost Management’.
Cloud is only a technology change – False!
Cloud Adoption is an all-encompassing transformation that will ripple outwards and influence well beyond your IT organisation. We are not just talking about a technological change. Your transformation will also have a profound impact on your people and culture. As such, it is critical that all stakeholders are brought into the mix.
While strategic conversations around traditional IT have previously been held in the realm of the CIO and CTO, successful conversations about Cloud Adoption will require input from other functions such as Finance, HR and Procurement. These discussions will be challenging and will require many of you to completely rethink how your IT organisation and business operates and interacts.
Cloud is just someone else’s server – False!
Cloud is not just about hosting your infrastructure on external servers, it provides the building blocks to scale and optimise your business. When you move to the Cloud, you gain access to your chosen Cloud Service Provider’s (CSP) extensive suite of tools and services. This enables you to enhance how your business operates, innovates and succeeds at your fingertips.
This also provides an opportunity to modernize your applications and increase their capability beyond what is possible in a data center.
Cloud requires no strategy – False!
For the same reason why it is vital to have a blueprint before building a house, a Cloud strategy will form the foundation of your Cloud adoption journey and will define your Cloud Operating Model.
A comprehensive Cloud strategy will help align the rest of the business towards a common purpose and set the vision and principles by which Cloud should be adopted. This is an opportunity to do some soul searching as a business and ask why you are transforming in the first place?
Without understanding why you are adopting Cloud and what value it is providing for different areas of your business, you are essentially just shifting your technology stack. Without a proper cloud strategy in place, you cannot address your on-premise challenges and maximise the potential value of the Cloud.
Cloud is not secure – False!
Public Cloud infrastructure can be just as secure, or even more secure than your on-premise environment – however it is implemented differently. From a physical perspective, public Cloud is, at the very least, as secure as a traditional data center. Yes, all of your databases and servers are offsite but CSP data centers are some of the most secure buildings in the world. Their exact locations are often obfuscated and access inside is extremely limited. They can offer levels of physical security that few enterprises can match.
From a logical and architectural perspective, the Cloud provides you with software-based tools to monitor and protect the flow of information in and out of your Cloud resources. The Cloud enables you to reconstruct your environment from the ground up, with software-driven security built into the infrastructure. CSPs provide tools that allow you to centrally control access, effectively enable immutable logging and monitoring for security analytics, and control key management, to name a few. They also have deployment tools to manage and maintain the creation and decommission of resources. This allows you to securely automate many of your security practices, as well as ensure your infrastructure is trackable, traceable and configurable. This all helps streamline the implementation of, and ensure compliance with your security policies.
Cloud enables a different, software-driven approach to achieve your security policies while reducing administration overheads and empowering your IT team to spend more time focusing on innovation. All the while you maintain a high-security posture.
Cloud automatically makes us scale and gives unprecedented reliability – True!
It is true that Cloud allows elastic computing infrastructure, which can grow and shrink to fit traffic patterns in near real-time. It is also true that it offers unprecedented ways of ensuring high-availability and reliability of your data. What is less known, is that for IaaS, none of these benefits come out-of-the-box. They are achieved via careful planning and good design.
A lift-and-shift migration to the Cloud will not make your systems offer any increased availability than they did on-premise. Servers in the Cloud do not automatically resize themselves when needed, and backups are not automatically always available. Just like on-premise, this needs to be configured. However, with the right knowledge, planning and effort, Cloud can offer better availability, higher reliability and incredible scale, all at a lower cost than any on-premise equivalent.
These are just a few of the cloud adoption myths that are out there. To ensure you don’t fall foul of any of these misconceptions, make sure you develop a clear strategy and Cloud Operating Model. This will help you address and redefine your business drivers for cloud adoption based on the changes to people, processes and technology that will happen as you transform.
Want to know more? Read our Cloud Adoption ebook, which provides a best-practice roadmap for Cloud transformation.
For more information on how our Cloud Strategy & Adoption practice can help your Cloud Transformation initiatives, click here.