If No Money for Cloud Tomorrow
The best thing is often the worst thing. The best advantage for me in Cloud is flexibility. If you need more, you just pay more and get it. But if you cannot pay, you may find yourself in a similar situation when you are at the airport with your family and left your passports at home.
Insecurity of budgeting for tomorrow represents a huge risk for using Cloud. Some clients acknowledge this risk and do not go Cloud, but others while the risk is still there, just keep going.
You are a CIO, what will happen if next year you do not get a budget for new hardware? You cannot extend infrastructure and support growth of your organization.
The next question, what will happen if next year you do not get a budget for Cloud where your infrastructure is located? Looking for a new job could be one of the options in that case.
Migrations from the Cloud and to the Cloud technically are quite similar but from financial point of view, there is a huge difference. If you go Cloud, you need to stop using your applications on your own servers and start using Cloud resources. To start, you need just pay for 1 month of Cloud and for the migration project. Afterwards, you also can use hardware that you do not need anymore and reallocate the personnel that have supported the systems. For moving back from Cloud, in addition to the same migration project, you need to buy new hardware and hire new personnel. This is much more complicated task!
So, moving to Cloud in most cases is a smooth journey and requires much less immediate payments then moving back when most payments should be done before the start.
For all my years in Cloud business, I have seen many examples when customers brought back its infrastructure from Cloud. Only one of them was properly planned and executed seamlessly. The organization hired personnel in advance, prepared migration project, bought hardware, etc. All other examples were involuntary and forced when CIOs were just informed that business decided not pay for Cloud (often due to financial difficulties and general budget cuts). CIO had to substitute Cloud infrastructure without hardware, people, a plan and almost without money. Nobody was happy.
For many customers uncertainty in future budgeting must be a stopper from going Cloud. Depending on countries, many governmental organizations can secure budget only for one year. This is a key stopper for many of them and make them to have everything on premise. The Public Sector indeed is the industry with least penetration of Cloud.
For Cloud the risk of inconsistent budget as significant and crucial as the unreliability of internet connection. This risk should be considered as a stopper if it could not be hedged mitigated.
Any good Cloud strategy must include an ‘Exit from Cloud’ plan. The organizations should know what and how they will manage if they decide to stop using cloud: how long it will take, what resources they will need. The back migration is not too complicated if planned properly. There are a lot of tools now, how to reduce initial payments and soften general complexity of the back migration. The hardware could be acquired through multi-years leasing, company’s own personnel may be trained in advance, outsourced specialists could be temporary involved supporting IT-systems that are being transferred from Cloud etc.
Of course, most clients choose Cloud as they clearly see its benefits, but understanding of a way back does not reduce them. Marriage is stronger, if the couple knows the cost of a divorce.