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Over the last ten years, cloud computing has become a technology of its own that has developed rapidly. However, there is still a bunch of myths about its real business potential.
No matter what the focus of these myths is (security of clouds or economic benefits) any myth requires a more detailed search into its creditability. Gartner’s analysts have highlighted the top cloud myths for a better understanding of the cloud’s advantages and disadvantages.
“Cloud computing, by its very nature, is uniquely vulnerable to the risks of myths. It is all about capabilities delivered as a service, with a clear boundary between the provider of the service and the consumer,”
said David Mitchell Smith, Vice President and Gartner Fellow.
Sometimes this is true – clouds, indeed, reduce IT costs, but there are lots of other reasons why companies choose cloud technologies and most of those reasons are to increase the flexibility of their IT infrastructure. According to ‘Gartner’s 2014 CIO Survey’, only 14% of all respondents had answered that cost reduction was the main reason for choosing cloud services. Reduction of costs may end up being one of the benefits, and should not be taken for granted.
As cloud services are becoming some kind of a ‘fashion trend’, some IT organizations are also increasingly calling many things clouds as part of their effort to be in trend, gain funding, and meet cloud demands and strategies. As a result, the original meaning of cloud has changed a lot. At the same time, companies should apply specific functionality (for example, virtualization, IT process automation etc.) which is needed without believing that to be good it has to be a cloud.
Despite the possible economic advantages, not all applications and workloads benefit from the cloud. Clouds should be used when they can give a business more flexibility (in the form of ‘service on demand’, rapid scaling for new tasks, granular accounting etc.). So unless there are massive cost savings, moving a legacy application that doesn’t change may not be a good choice.
According to the results of Gartner survey, many companies don’t have a cloud strategy and instead of having one they are just doing what their CEO says. Cloud strategy, like any other strategy, should begin with identifying business goals and finding what cloud services can implement these goals , taking into the account the potential risks and analysis of alternative solutions. The cloud is one of the many possible ways of achieving business goals for an organization.
Cloud Computing is not one thing and cloud providers offer different sets of cloud services. Cloud services are classified on different levels (IaaS, SaaS), models (“lift and shift”, cloud native) and scope (internal, external). A cloud strategy should be based according to business’s goals and possible benefits that could be achieved only using different cloud providers.
Cloud services can be customized by the provider, thereby a service level can be achieved that is sufficient for maintaining mission-critical applications. Furthermore, companies can use a hybrid approach that combines the use of a local data center and public cloud. In other words, it all depends on the requirements of a company. There are also many enterprises (not only startups) that are ‘born in the cloud’ and run their business completely in the cloud.
Most cloud decisions do not mean completely shutting down the local data center and moving everything to the cloud. As mentioned above, some types of applications just can’t be effectively transferred to the public cloud. Cloud strategy shouldn’t be equated with a data center strategy. Cloud strategy should be based on a detailed analysis of what should be moved to the cloud and what should be left on the local data center of the company.
Virtualization technology is widely used for the implementation of cloud services. However, the cloud can be created without this technology and in some cases, it’s even not sufficient. When formulating your business goals, you should clearly describe what the exact purpose of the company is – the modernization of its data center or a new business model of IT services.