What stops you from fully moving into the cloud?
What would stop you from moving into the cloud for all your IT requirements?
Many SME's have doubt and questions regarding the services on cloud.
common questions i have are:
a) seems expensive ?
b) need extra knowledge to handle the cloud?
c) i have very small thing to do, so why increase cost by moving to cloud?
d) what happens if i switch the cloud service provider, and what happens to my data? how do i migrate it? is there cost involve?
The "cloud' is a very loosely defined term that basically means a cluster of computers somewhere located in an external location.
It isn't a new concept, and in fact hosted services have been operating similar offerings for the last 10 years.
What *is* relatively new however, is the gradual move to have the majority of in-house systems hosted in the "cloud" for a number of perceived or actual benefits.
The first major barrier would be the specialised knowledge required to reliability and competently host such a core aspect of a company. You need to be confident in the vendors ability to handle:
1) The traffic from users
2) Provide support in the event of an issue
3) Have spares/hot swap chassis/redundancies in place, above and beyond what can be installed "in-house" to justify the outsourcing to the "cloud".
Apart from this, the other major barrier that I see is the inability to account for data location - that is, in a "true" cloud solution like AWS you cannot be sure across how many physical servers your vital information is duplicated. This is major problem for companies which have APRA (financial) reporting requirements or for companies which are required by PCI-DSS or ISO27001 (best practices) to have information stored in distinctly separated physical servers.
I think a crucial show-stopper for several of my clients is the internet speed to their present location. I've got two clients in particular who aren't able to achieve any more than 2M/sec downstream - it's hard enough for them to just browse the internet in an office of 8 people, let alone conduct all their business across it.
It's also not cost effective for them to move to a more appropriate solution such as SDSL or Ethernet - in both cases I've done SQ anyway to find that they'd be paying huge amounts of money but not really able to acheive much better speed.
Sharing my thoughts below:
a) seems expensive - I am reminded by disasters that have struck for instance Japan and how some businesses were able to get back up and running business as is because of how they had disaster recovery in place. Had it not been for this, doubtless that it would be much more costly to get back to business for these companies. The journey to the cloud will actually free SMEs from CAPEX -- instead let them compete globally much faster than before. It will only be expensive if they do not plan well and I mean, not just about planning on what technology or services to purchase, but plan to have the right process and people to support the technologies they intend to consume.
b) need extra knowledge to handle the cloud? - Yes, but there's a number of cloud service providers any SME can go to and ask for help now.
c) i have very small thing to do, so why increase cost by moving to cloud? The landscape we have is very different now. People demand to have access to data anytime, anywhere. Mobile is changing the way business and people interact. Data is exponentially growing. And there's security threats everywhere. To enable you to do your job better today, you've to be able to get instant access to information, right? And so that's why moving to the cloud becomes more of a mandate unless you accept that your competitors will outperform you.
d) what happens if i switch the cloud service provider, and what happens to my data? how do i migrate it? is there cost involve? - I think different cloud service providers have different answers for this and this is where the SME has to do its or their research well. Our belief (I work at Hewlett Packard Enterprise) is that not everything has to move out of your firewall and go to the public cloud. Each app is unique and each SME is unique, and there's a unique balance of private and public and traditional infra to be managed. So before you go and jump into the world of cloud -- you must first ask amongst yourselves in the company what it is you want to achieve.