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Cloud Computing

What Do You Think is the Greatest Impediment to Companies Moving to the Cloud - After Security?

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Jon Pyke: What do you think is the greatest impediment to companies moving to the cloud - after security?

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  • Concerns about reliability, customization, governance and control are the key issues for IT and business decision-makers after security.

  • May I shamelessly plug my upcoming podcast titled Privacy in the Public Cloud? :)

    Although related, and in some ways overlapping, security and privacy are different enough, which is why I would say privacy concerns are the close second.

  • Regulatory compliance would be next in line after security. Current laws do not provide enough clarity to allow corporations to know they are compliant. Add to that the various laws across each locale and the problem becomes much larger. Don't be fooled by SAS 70 and/or PCI compliance. These are not complete solutions to the problem.

  • To the public cloud - trust, reliability, and bandwidth. Can companies trust a service provider with data? Can they get it back when they want it?

    For private clouds - companies are struggling with business strategy. Should there be a single unified cloud for the company, or if they should have multiple business units experiment with cloud and see what works? It may shake down like corporate websites did around 2000 where business units had all made there own external websites before corporate decided it was a mess and decided to adopt CMS systems to make a common platform for publishing and presentation.

    And for hybrids - deciding the best strategy to move data from private to public and back again is an impediment as there are no clear standards today.

  • Reliability and performance. Both these issues are directly related to both operational and business concerns regarding service-level agreements between IT and the business and the organization and the user. Performance is imperative and reliability must be improved to ensure data center level downtime support levels.

    This is not a provider-only concern, either. Enterprise customers will have to unlearn a lot of previously held "best practices" regarding sizing and capacity and availability that simply don't hold true in "the cloud" if they are going to successfully leverage external cloud resources as part of a larger IT strategy that maintains corporate policies regarding performance and availability.


  • For most users, second to security (and sometimes trumping it) is performance. Upload speed is still slow for most business users, and latency is a big issue. For cloud-based applications this is less relevant, as they are co-located with the storage and computing resources they need. However, for datacenter-installed or locally installed applications, which are still the vast majority of what's out there, the performance hit is too great to bear at the present.

    This is one of the reasons we chose to use a hybrid architecture for our solutions, whereby there's an on-premises appliance that acts as a cloud gateway and a buffer, giving users local-network-speed performance, while also providing de-duplication and compression for optimized cloud interaction. By the way, the appliances also take care of the security aspects (hardware accelerate encryption for example).

  • I think that the question is too generic – what does “Moving to the Cloud? mean? My experience shows that the greatest benefit for business is the extension of core application functionality to a broader user base, including extra-enterprise actors.

    In this context, Performance is often tied to architectural choices for applications, in particular in scalability and web based user interface; for example, a heavy Ajax screen could be very slow because of the web traffic it generates.

    Therefore, I contend that the next greatest impediment is the choice and application of the software architecture – you cannot just take a traditional in-house application and “move it to the Cloud?.

  • After Security... I have seen a couple different elements popping up, depending on the geographical location of the customer and the application areas he/she tries to bring to the cloud.
    The two key ones are compliance and internet bandwidth. Compliance related to personal data and how that one is stored in the cloud within accepted geographies. Bandwidth when large datasets are involved such as Product Development & Engineering.

  • For end users, performance and reliability.
    For IT, nostalgia and sentiment, loosing feelings that they own tangible things, i.e. loosing dominions. ;-)

  • It's easy to shoot from the hip and repeat the previous answers concerning reliability and compliance as the important factors companies will need to consider. But part of me thinks these answers are still analysts, not company, answers. Not that they're not without merit as truly, they all know more of the industry than the rest of us.

    However, in the absence of citing a survey [and a belief in 'black swans'], I'd reckon that companies are wresting more with 'indecision' as a result of too much cloud computing information out there. No doubt most are seriously considering moving to the public or private cloud but the options are overwhelming them. Under threat of being labeled either as laggards or getting burned as early adopters, companies are cautious of making mistakes with regards to getting the right vendor, products and services and paying a huge amount that from a distance won't be a substantial cost reduction from what they have right now.

  • Most of the problems raised seem to be either not so much a problem (such as reliability or performance), or ones which we already have workable solutions for (is trusting an outsourcer really that different from trusting a SaaS provider). Even security argument is more a touchy-feely thing than hard numbers. The IT security at most companies is full of holes.

    The biggest barrier seems to be business maturity. There's a couple of dimensions to this.

    First, cloud/SaaS puts a stronger barrier between client/suppler, which means that you really can't just treat these as apps that someone else happens to run. Many companies get themselves in trouble by not understanding the trucking company nature of an outsourcer (keep">http://peter.evans-greenwood.com/2010/09/17/business-models-for-the-old-rules-of-it/">keep the trucks running, and don't spend money on tires). SaaS/cloud can take this to a whole new level. Deploy an app into the cloud and you cannot touch the tin. Adopt a SaaS service and the config/customise debate gets a much sharper edge. Many companies will not have the maturity into their planning and decisioning processes to get this right.

    Second, do you want to be the person who signs the work order to move the general ledger of a large company into the cloud? Even if all the technical ducks are lined up (and many of them already are), there's still a chance it could come undone. Do you want to be the person who takes this risk first? A senior role in a large company is a question of hanging with the pack, not heading out where the wolves might get you.



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