Kevin James - The IT Control Specialists

    The Cloud, 10 years on.

    Like any IT company, one of the most common questions we get is: “Should we move to the Cloud?”.

    While it is perfectly true that many companies can benefit from Cloud based solutions or by switching to hosted set-ups (available anywhere), the truth is it is not always quite so simple. To understand why, we need to take a moment to consider the past ten years – recognising how Cloud services have changed, and what the the real advantages of the Cloud are.

    An unexpected set of events.

    Back in 2006, the first private Cloud platform was released as a product, called the Amazon Web Service (or AWS). While the new technology was well publicised, Senior Management within companies didn’t really know what impact this would have on their business (primarily because nobody clearly explained exactly what it was). Ten years on, and still many companies don’t really know what Cloud services mean for business.

    Why? Well change is stressful and learning about new technology requires time. In essence the motivation, or rather the inspiration, to move to the Cloud just hasn’t appeared in the way it was expected. In effect, for most workers, nothing has really changed.

    The hardest three words: I was wrong.

    Many ‘techies’ believed the Cloud, as a concept, would be an instant smash-hit for business. In their quest for new exciting technology, they failed to take some key business factors into account. Early adopters migrated their in-house file servers (typically on new virtual servers), but for the most part held back wherever security was an issue. While the ability to access a shared server from the internet was a great novelty, there seemed to be some drawbacks too.

    The Cloud fails to inspire…. Almost everyone.

    Last year in 2015, an analyst for IT research firm Gartner found something quite shocking. Tom Bittman send out a survey to many thousands of enterprise businesses in the US who had migrated to an IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, on a private Cloud server over the past 10 years. 95% of respondents reported that some aspect of their in-house IaaS private cloud had gone wrong. In other words, 19 out of 20 private cloud implementations are leaving something to be desired.

    He discovered that there are key concerns and challenges faced by those who managed their own Cloud setup. For instance, he notes that many times Cloud projects are pursued as a money-saving endeavour. This approach misses the point, ignoring all of the benefits and potential a true cloud strategy can bring. He also found many issues with misconfiguration, as he notes: “Optimizing for everything means optimizing for nothing.”

    Additionally, a Cloud project requires infrastructure and operations teams to work together. Improper management and cohesion between these teams can cause huge problems. Failure to do so yield a failed cloud project. Indeed, instituting a private cloud is about rethinking what is possible, using the features of the cloud by Automating and Integrating work process.

    See the breakdown of problems faced by companies introducing IaaS

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