Can we put down the weapons and at last agree that the cloud is here to stay? Have your say, below.
In psychoanalysis, “being in denial” is a defense mechanism used by a person faced with an unpleasant situation too uncomfortable to accept or too ghastly to contemplate. The person rejects reality and insists it is not true, despite overwhelming evidence.
I am constantly confronted with people in denial about the cloud. These naysayers are mostly individuals within the technology services industry. So let’s first examine some facts, as well as some arguments against cloud computing.
Cloud computing facts
These are proven facts, not future predictions. It is easy to argue against predictions, but pretty hard to argue with the past.
According to AMD (1/12), 70 percent of businesses are either using or investigating cloud computing solutions.
According to an IBM survey (2011) of 2,000 midsize companies, two-thirds were planning or had already deployed cloud-based technologies, and 70 percent were actively pursuing cloud-based analytics for greater insight and efficiency.
90 percent of Microsoft’s 2011 R&D budget was spent on cloud computing strategy and products.
In a 2011 Avanade-commissioned study of C-level executives from 18 countries to learn how cloud computing is being used in the enterprise, it found:
60% reported cloud computing as their highest IT priority.
74% are already using some form of cloud computing technology.
64% are investing in training new and current employees on their cloud expertise.
Worldwide IT spending on cloud computing has increased more than 25 percent from 2008 to 2012.
30% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) used cloud software in 2011.
A study by Mimecast in 2010 found that 70 pecent of companies that were using cloud computing services are willing to and will move new applications to the cloud.
48 percent of U.S. government agencies moved at least one workflow to the cloud following the new requirement that federal agencies adopt a “cloud-first” policy.
41 percent of senior executives say they are using or plan on using some kind of private cloud.
Cloud providers have increased personnel from nil in 2007 to over 550,000 in 2010.
The above numbers are only a handful of facts on cloud computing adoption. Just a few of those figures should be enough to convince those still in denial, yet the naysayers persist. Let’s look at a few of the arguments I have been presented with.
Arguments against cloud computing
Cloud computing is just another iteration of SaaS and ASP, which ultimately failed
Technology has changed dramatically since the days of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and application service provider (ASP). Processing power has increased many times over, which makes it more profitable to run cloud applications and lowers the cost of doing business in the cloud. Additionally, bandwidth is enormously cheaper, and more available, which was one of the huge impediments of SaaS and ASP. SaaS and ASP were the right technologies at the wrong time.
Security and compliance are weaker in the cloud
I keep hearing this one, but nothing to support the claim. According to a 2010 survey by Mimecast, 57 percent of respondents agreed that cloud computing actually improved their security. Another study found that, “Improved Reliability and Security of Data” as the second most important benefits of moving to the cloud. While there will always be risks with having your data anywhere; security concerns in the cloud are for the most part unfounded. Still encryption and other technologies will help minimize concern, especially for transfer of data, in and out of the cloud.
Cloud computing is too expensive
There are some cases where moving to the cloud can be more expensive. But commoditization is already happening. Last week Google, Amazon, and then Microsoft, cut their cloud prices. With the increase in computing power, the increased cloud adoption, and decreased migration costs, cloud is getting less expensive to implement. According to Microsoft, it saved DenizBank, $12,000,000; and saved Convergent Computing $1,200,000 a month by going to Microsoft’s private cloud. In another study by Cloud HyperMarket, 74 percent of respondents say that using the cloud has reduced their infrastructure costs. Cloud prices will continue to drop and this argument will be heard less and less.
The landscape for technology professionals is changing; the landscape for computing and how technology is delivered is changing. So what is to be done? First of all, don’t sit around and wait for things to happen. Start developing a strategy that exploits cloud advantages for your organization. Determine what kind of cloud services you need solutions for, and meet with cloud providers to find the best long-term fit. If you are an IT professional, it would be advantageous to update your certifications to more cloud and security-friendly certifications. I did not mention any of the cloud predictions, but they are big. In short, start moving!
posted in Blog, Featured ⋅ March 14, 2012 1:14 pm