What type of cloud computing is the right fit for your organisation? (a CEOs guide by a CEO)
Authored by David Tudehope, Chief Executive.
As this is also the question that I am most frequently asked when I meet with our customers, this article is to help a senior executive decide where cloud computing offers the greatest benefit relative to the cost and effort to change.
Firstly, to understand the different types of Cloud Computing, please view the video below:
While the agility and cost saving benefits of moving to the cloud are well published, there is little on the practical realities of moving your organisation with say 20+ years of traditional IT systems to new cloud based services.
Unsurprisingly this is because the answer depends on each software application and database. It can range from a straightforward transfer to time consuming and expensive migrations.
In a nutshell my advice is:
- The good news is that private and public cloud computing is cheaper than buying your own servers and having your staff install them.
- Cloud computing means you turn up IT servers and storage in a fraction of time that you would internally.
- While cloud computing is often promoted for the ability to turn up and down extra capacity in peak periods, this rarely ever happens outside the case studies that cloud computing companies promote (yes, we have some too). This is because most companies have mostly applications with relatively constant usage, IT departments are busy and while the applications could do this themselves it’s usually very difficult to execute retrospectively.
- Look for portals and tools you use in-house that are also provided from cloud computing, so you can leverage existing IT department skill sets.
- Beware of “Hotel California” business models that make it very expensive and time consuming to change cloud service providers. You are not only used by Apple to make it hard to leave, but they are used also by cloud computing companies using programming linkages (called APIs) and features that you will find your application needs to imbed.
One size doesn’t fit all, in my experience every corporate uses a hybrid mix of different types of cloud. The typical hybrid mix is something like this: customised or internally built applications are in a modern data centre, dedicated servers are used for security or regulatory sensitive applications; private cloud is used for all new applications and public self managed cloud is used for the website. Many corporate would buy Software as a Service, where the software company has sorted out the hosting and you just pay a monthly total subscription fee.
Most companies still have an old computer room that will disappear in the next 5 years when you next move offices or your IT manager confesses that it needs yet another big capex upgrade due to overheating or power shortages. Onsite computer rooms will become very rare in the 2020s, just like power generators under each office building 120 years ago disappeared with the arrival of more efficient power plants & wires.