Will the Cloud Remain Cautious?
Park Place: Hardware Maintenance
IT is in a position of trying to have it both ways, using the Cloud but keeping on-premises technology as well.
In the round-up of 2018 predictions, Gartner has gone on record with “Top 10 Technology Trends Impacting Infrastructure & Operations.” Among them is the expectation that caution will remain dominant when it comes to Cloud adoptions.
In the opinion of the research group “the journey to the Cloud is a slow, controlled process” for many enterprises. They mention colocation and hosting providers offering private and shared Clouds as safe spaces, of sorts, to supply basic Cloud capabilities and woo reluctant organizations into the arena.
Other sources are confirming that a measured approach is the modus operandi of most IT organizations. Even as Cloud hype intensifies and successes have become entrenched, industry watchers still see enterprises:
- Breaking big Cloud ambitions into mini projects as “proof points for the stakeholder that Cloud works, they generate strategic and tactical value, and thus should receive more investment.”
- Carefully considering the security capabilities of Cloud providers to ensure new vulnerabilities—and potential legal implications—don’t affect the enterprise.
- Leaning toward private over public Cloud options, due to security concerns, computing power shortcomings, and ownership of data issues, among others—with private Cloud adoption potentially reaching 45% to 60% quite soon.
- Using the Cloud more for backup and data storage than for app deployment.
- Turning to well-known players, primarily Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft, as cloud platforms, with Microsoft Azure in particular sparking growth in private cloud.
Notwithstanding the “baby steps” approach of many tech leaders, the Cloud is set for big growth. Forrester predicts over 50% of global enterprises will use at least one public Cloud platform. And more and more IT organizations are getting into Cloud-native capabilities, containers and microservices, and other technologies.
Implications for I&O
IT is in a position of trying to have it both ways, using the Cloud but keeping on-premises technology as well. In fact, a recent survey found such a hybrid approach characterizes 58% of organizations, with a remaining third of enterprises relying on 100% in-house technology.
Although few businesses expect to ever move Cloud apps back to the data center, reservations about the Cloud mean they aren’t rushing everything off-premises, either.
In the “long live the data center” camp, some industry insiders point to declining costs of IT hardware as a key factor in increasing comfort with running strategic software assets on fully owned equipment. The trickle down of commodity servers, they say, is making data centers cheaper. We’d mention third party maintenance, which can save customers on hardware support, as another factor making on-premises technology more affordable as well.
On the whole, these savings are frequently Cloud-positive, freeing resources for innovation, much of which will happen in the Cloud. Thus, contrary to claims by some “Cloud only” advocates, IT executives who see the value in on-premises are not all “server huggers” who can’t let go. The vast majority are realists who compare technologies on their merits and costs and are perfectly happy to select the right one for the job.
Cautious or not, that’s just smart thinking and, like Gartner, we expect it to continue in 2018 and beyond.
Chris Adams is President and COO of Park Place Technologies. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.