Tom Bittman’s article “How to Create a Cloud Strategy that Fails Big!” dismantles the myths about cloud computing which dominate and contribute to continued IT failures. Bittman is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner Research, covering cloud computing.
It is no secret that a number of misperceptions about the cloud exist and this article does a solid job addressing exactly why these misconceptions exist and where cloud officers may need to reexamine their own migration experience. It offers a balanced critique of the kinds of myths that may actually break the business and the bank.
Here is his breakdown:
Cloud is simply a way to save money
His attention to this first mistake is important. If saving money is your business’ only reason for moving to the cloud, you know you are setting yourself up for failure. He articulates the danger of the assumption that the cloud is always cheaper. Some costs, like retrofitting, can be entirely prohibitive. His articles states that while economies of scale reduce costs, cloud markets are also highly competitive and some businesses will not survive. Remember that cloud alone does not make standardization easier to implement. It is unlikely that you will benefit if cost alone is enticing you to make the switch.
Cloud will renovate enterprise IT
The second myth that Bittman addresses is the assumption that it’s a way to renovate enterprise IT. But the fact is not every IT service will benefit from runtime automation or even increased speed. If your service is unique and not designed for automation, it may not benefit from this renovation at all and you could in fact, lose out. Efficiency is key, but if you are not keeping in mind your business’ unique procedures this could cause significant challenge for you.
Cloud is the perfect opportunity for startups.
Bittman argues that while this may be true, the cloud actually can make things more difficult on start-ups. We do know more than a few startups that have benefitted from cloud computing. He makes the case that unless the cloud user has a strong understanding of the requirements of their business and IT needs, it may actually not be as advantageous to companies without significant IT oversight and planning. Cloud was meant to provide opportunities for both large and small business but, without the grander (and richer) IT team, the transition may be painful. Cloud is about finding new ways of computing, of innovating efficiencies for the long term. Just be sure that your team is ready to manage and leverage long term goals.
We know the cloud is important and critical to our own successes, but we have to acknowledge the pitfalls to believing that the transition will be an easy one. It’s about opening up possibilities. It will help us innovate and grow if we look for broader benefits and long term gains. It should allow you to deploy new services and new enterprises that help you network and thrive. If you are too caught up in immediate needs, you may lose perspective. This article is a nice way of reminding us all that the cloud is here to stay and that for now it is either hop on board, or wait until you are ready.