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Silicon 360: Are Cloud Strategies Maturing?

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Do organisations have a better understanding about how and why they should move to the cloud? Our industry panel investigates

The issue of cloud migration is a complex one, but are businesses now more understanding about the implications and will this encourage adoption?

Our Silicon 360 cloud panel discussed whether cloud strategies had matured beyond over the past few years as the cost, cultural and technical aspects became more clear.

“It’s not a technology question, it’s about customer experience – how are you going to change the relationship with IT?,” argued Nigel Page, senior director and strategist at HPE Digital Solutions.

Read More: Silicon 360 – The final barriers to cloud

 

Cloud maturity

“I think that reflects the maturity of cloud strategies now because 18 months ago it was ‘cloud first, I’m going to throw everything at a single cloud provider’,” agreed Roger Ian Dickinson, cloud solutions architect at Cisco.

“Now they’re a lot more mature, so organisations are saying we need two cloud providers if we’re going public cloud. In fact there might be three with private cloud one of the others.”

The views of the two vendors differed from that of Clive Longbottom, analyst at Quocirca, who suggested that some organisations were behind the curve, especially when it came to things like privacy and cost.

For example, a business might choose to take advantage of the compute power of the cloud but still keep data in-house.

“There’s still very much a spectrum of maturity as you still have those leaders,” he said. “We haven’t reached mainstream yet. For end users, this is very much a nascent market.

cloud money

“We’re server huggers, we need to know where our data is and be able to point to it whether for regulatory reasons [or other].

“Far too many organisations go to the cloud for cost reasons. We can guarantee you that if you move for cost reasons it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg.”

“We find it starts with a business case and the economics of it,” suggested Todd Whaley of Pulsant. “If you can’t justify the cost … then most businesses don’t step onto that ladder.”

Are cloud strategies more mature than they were 18 months ago?

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Whaley added that the initial migration might be sparked by a hardware refresh, end of support for a particular application or a new regulatory requirement like GPDR, but his experience was that once one cloud service was adopted, more would follow.

But for some, the move might just be too risky – especially when moving to one hundred percent cloud. David Benjamin, Box’s general manager for EMEA, said that although some firms with decades of IT infrastructure might find it a painful process, the benefits would prove worth it. However, this was not true of all firms.

“We’ve seen some pretty diverse situations. One company we were speaking to was still using DOS deep in their organisation!” he revealed. “There was absolutely no way we could move them as the risk was too great.”

You can see the full debate in the video above and for more videos from the cloud panel, visit our Silicon 360 microsite.

Quiz: What do you know about the cloud in 2017?