“Its Cloud’s Illusions I Recall…”

During a meeting a few days ago I was reminded of how fast our market is changing.

The “Cloud Market” is still very infant, and frustrates in many ways, as it’s both brilliant and painful in equal measure.

In the few short years that Cloud based solutions have been viable and widely available, I was shocked to understand how much people’s perspectives have changed, and in some ways, how de-sensitised they’ve become to the challenges of the Cloud, through familiarity or assumption.

Even as recently as two or three years ago, the roadblock for cloud adoption was regularly described as security concerns.  In simple terms, no one was confident to put their data assets in some other company’s hands, as best practice had dictated since the beginning of time, or certainly for the last few decades, that it is your responsibility to care for your data!  The very thought of handing this responsibility over to other parties seemed to cause the “Vapors” for many IT professionals with responsibility for governance.  With no evidence or logic, it was automatically assumed that sub-contracting this responsibility undoubtedly was laced with attendant risk.

Well reality has over time proved very different from that illusion.  In most cases a high quality Cloud Service Provider will undoubtedly provide a similar, or in many cases better, environment of security in all its forms, than many self-managed solutions.  So with the exception of the brutal reality that if your processes are weak, and that the disciplines within your business for all elements of IT operations are poor, the cloud won’t fix it, there is in reality no material additional risk associated with this consumption approach.

What did surprise me during the meeting though, was having moved from this position of doubt a few years ago, enterprise appears to have adopted the opposite end of the logic, and is now considering a wholesale migration of just about everything to the cloud.

The illusion appears to have become that “cloud is cheaper”, and therefore the faster they moved, the faster they would realise this fiscal advantage.

Now I come from an Engineering heritage, and despite having a mother who was an accountant, I would never claim to have more than a rudimentary understanding of the dark art of finance.  In the same way that I would not rely on an accountant to Architect your next computing solution, corporate financing should not be managed by engineers.

At my particular meeting, it did become quickly and abundantly clear, that the range of assumptions that the judgement was based upon was at least flawed, and bordered on the “hokey”.

The illusion that had been created was that cloud = cheaper; yet this was based simply, against a subset of the real data points that would have to be considered to confirm that judgement.

Now I am not saying that cloud is cheaper, or more expensive, simply that the solution cannot be understood by such a simple analysis.  In reality, we have yet to perfectly define what the cloud really is, so being able to put such a glib statement either in support of, or against, is impossible.

It is very important when we get to these points of vagueness, that first principles need to be reapplied.

It’s not about the cost of a particular cloud offering, or a piece of Hardware or Software, that is the issue.  After all is said and done, it is simply about being in a place where a cost benefit analysis can be undertaken, with some honest logic underpinning, in order that the right decisions can be made.

My own experience tells me that Cloud often will offer the right solution for particular tasks, as its inerrant flexibility, coupled with an Opex based characteristic, can be compelling.  Equally, I have just seen an analysis which shows clearly, that for an established large application, the “right answer” was to stay managed and on premise, with a massive new solid state array.  So all outcomes are possible, and as always, one size does not fit all.

At Accordant our focus is on working with clients to navigate these complex issues – to quickly, and at low cost, find the right answers to these questions.

Using our unique custom-built software toolkit, AccSL® (Accordant Solutions Library), coupled with our collective centuries of experience within the team, ensures that the right solution for your organisation can be determined, simply by applying the right logic.  Real data can then be used to understand and compare all the potential solutions, in order that a wise decision can be made.  The powerful “What If” modelling of AccSL® enables this to be undertaken simply, and also persistently should you choose.

So before you make a big decision about a particular service or services that you provide, why not equip yourself with the facts!  Then cloud’s illusions can be replaced with hard data.

With apologies to Judy Collins for this piece’s title!


Want to know more?  Contact:  david.leyland@accordantsolutions.co.uk