Debunking Nagging Cloud Adoption Myths

eWEEK DATA POINTS: Some companies are still playing cloud catch-up. There are persistent cloud adoption myths that may be to blame, acting as barriers and preventing companies from leveraging the superpowers of the cloud to boost efficiency, security and innovation.

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Forward-looking companies are embracing the so-called all-cloud enterprise, using the speed, agility and flexibility that the cloud offers. Gartner Research predicts the worldwide public cloud market will reach $331.2 billion by 2022. 

Cloud computing has evolved in many ways from its origin as application service providers in the late 1990s, making it a new norm for existing and net new applications. More companies--as they gain cloud maturity--are shifting from cloud-first toward an all-cloud/cloud-only model. Cloud evolution is happening everywhere. Software plus hardware shifted to appliances which quickly shifted to as a service. We see this in cloud computing, data warehousing, CRM and IT service management in the cloud.

Some companies, however, are still playing “cloud catch-up.” There are persistent cloud adoption myths that may be to blame, acting as barriers and preventing companies from leveraging the superpowers of the cloud to boost efficiency, security and innovation.

This eWEEK Data Points article uses industry information from Chadd Kenney, a former executive at Pure Storage and EMC, who is now vice president and chief technologist at startup Clumio, a data backup and recovery software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider.

Data Point No. 1: The Cost Perception Myth

Many people think the cloud is more expensive than it is, and that buying something as a service is more expensive than an on-premises solution. In actuality, cost is only an issue when companies are using the cloud inefficiently or not fully leveraging the cloud to their benefit. It’s impossible for any enterprise to compete (i.e. build their own solution) with what the public cloud offers in terms of innovation, infrastructure efficiencies, flexibility, scalability, etc. 

Most companies don’t have the manpower, talent or time to continually tinker with and optimize cloud solutions. This is where leveraging the innovation of the public cloud can help, instead of using it like another co-location and only replacing the on-prem infrastructure. SaaS and PaaS solutions offload some inefficiency and optimize for cloud while increasing the focus on strategic business aspects versus infrastructure.

Data Point No. 2: The ‘One and Done’ Myth

Many pros think that once they move apps to the cloud, that is the end game. But true innovation means constant evolution. You must continue to integrate, iterate and innovate. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is failing to adapt quickly, as new technologies emerge. If you just look at your cloud journey as “lift and shift” being the final destination, you aren’t deriving the full benefits of the cloud.

Consider all the cloud-related innovation to date: The local data center has shifted to co-location and then to the cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle). Computing has evolved from bare metal servers to virtualization and now to serverless. The database has made the journey from software and storage to database appliances to the cloud (AWS RDS). Backup has evolved from legacy on-prem hardware and software to hyper-converged appliances to a backup-as-a-service model.

Data Point No. 3: The ‘Cloud Isn’t Secure’ Myth

That’s the perception, but it’s not reality. It’s been reported that 66% of IT professionals say security is their most significant concern when adopting an enterprise cloud computing strategy (source: Forbes). The cloud in general is very secure; that’s a major part of the cloud services business. Amazon's responsibility is to provide security of the cloud. Your job (as an enterprise) is to provide security in the cloud. 

Sometimes people mess up on the security in the cloud, which causes news reports about the cloud being hacked. The large cloud providers already implement compliance programs for HIPAA, PCI DSS, FEDRAMP, SOX and many others. Every time a provider adds a new service or feature, those compliance certifications must be re-upped to ensure they meet the requirements of clients. 

This re-upping process is difficult and expensive for enterprises to take on as a DIY task, and the result would still not be as effective as what they could get “out of the box” from the cloud provider.

An all-cloud model eliminates extra hardware and software to size, configure, manage or buy, and this is the way forward. By debunking the aforementioned cloud adoption myths, more enterprises can focus on larger business initiatives rather than on the heavy lifting of racking, stacking and powering servers.

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