Change to the Cloud

It is tempting to just tell people to move their business onto the Cloud. But Brevity is the embodiment of untruth. Sure, move your business onto the Cloud, you’ll be better off; but the point is that you’ll be better off for making changes, and that you’ll quickly be out of date if you don’t. Some general advice consultants may charge you a fee for telling you to move to the Cloud; the questions and services you should demand of them concerns how to move and what needs to change. You’re not just storing it all in a different place, you’re moving up to the next business standard.

There are consultants who get paid whether their advice is right or wrong, or at least don’t suffer much if their client makes a mistake. This is different to a group that has invested in the cloud technology and is accountable for the decisions. There is a lot to be said for signing on with the vendors who built the software and continue to manage it. These groups want the customer and they want their system to work. It would make sense for them to optimize their software and structures to accommodate their clients, or to advise their clients how to alter their operation so as to best use the latest systems. An independent source will not have this communication channel between supplier and user, neglecting a potential means of keeping operations at their best. An independent advisor might be good for advising which vendor best suits their needs, but a little net searching should yield the same information. Impartiality is needed for finding the most suitable vendor, but as this is a new area the impartiality is already there; we shouldn’t have too many preconceived notions if we remember how new this all is. But we should bear in mind that these decisions for cloud operations can make or break a company in record time, and changing plans after the initial decision may be difficult.

Moving to the Cloud is a turning point for a company. Think of it as upgrading and not just changing location.


http://www.afr.com/p/technology/techone_chief_slams_fake_cloud_experts_jFh5dCJJNWHCqx3dMBUF4L

Cloud Myths

Backups aren’t necessary? Of course backups are necessary. Ignore at your own peril. Sometimes the service will do this automatically; it would make sense if the backup were at a different location so both copies were never lost together. For my money, I backup everything somewhere else, just to be certain.

Scalability is taken care of? Not always; but it seems better on Cloud. You need only pay for the space you use, and unlike buying your own storage space you need not worry too much about underestimating the space you need. But applications on Cloud may not have unlimited data capacity, or only interface with other application up to a certain point. As with other situations in the past you may need to change to a different database system if you expand past a certain point. It should be easy to scale up shear computing and storage power, but applications upon the platform may have their own limits; the same limits they had on any other storage mediums.

Everything is fast? Like time on the net, you are there with a lot of other users. The net is slow on some days, fine on others. Nobody is keeping up posted on why it fluctuates, but the amount of traffic has to be a factor. Lots of people use Cloud, so we’re sharing space with a lot of others. Not difficult to see how this slows things down.

Cloud means Public Cloud? Not really. Public clouds are bigger, and receive more media coverage, but there are more private Clouds that work for just one company. Hybrid Clouds also exist. Companies have multiple options.

Cloud has a uniform approach to everybody? Not really. Different companies use it in different ways, set up their system differently …etc. On the positive this mean you can set things up in a way that best suits you and your company, you’re not forced into some generic system. On the downside, somebody has to figure out what that best system is; you are forced to specialize, but can take advantage of it.

Cloud is pay-per-use? Well it can be, or it can have a monthly subscription, or fixed annual cost. If you have a long –lived, stable application that only requires occasional accessing, then a yearly fixed cost may well be a better bet. This is an advantage here if you can estimate in advance which option is best for you.

Multiple Clouds are better? Well, if you want things to be neatly integrated then one Cloud server might be best. Transferring information between systems is an issue. But is you have some logical division between two parts of a company, and think there is a security advantage or less chance of data loss in an accident, then there might be an advantage here.

Cloud Means Lower cost? Probably, but that’s not the only reason to adopt it. It certainly seems more economical if you only pay for the space you are using, and don’t have to estimate your future data expansion in advance. But companies see using Cloud systems as a step ahead. Even if it did cost more, which it probably won’t, using Cloud is expanding a business. Sure, you can buy data storage as a one off cost, and that seems cheaper than rental; but the devaluation of storage mediums is considerable. Look how rapidly USB drives come down in price and go up in storage space! Cloud is pay as you need it. Any storage medium that you own devalues, whether it is used or not.