This just in: Cloud computing is hard

A new study confirms what most of us have said for years: cloud computing has a high degree of difficulty. However, worthwhile endeavors are rarely easy

This just in: Cloud computing is hard

In news that I would file under “duh,” almost 60 percent of U.K. businesses think that cloud has overpromised and underdelivered, according to a report sponsored by the consulting company Capita.

The report surveyed 200 IT decision-makers in the United Kingdom, and found that an overwhelming nine in ten respondents confessed that cloud migration has been delayed or pushed off due to “unforeseen factors.”

I’m just speculating, but it’s been my experience that those “unforeseen factors” usually include one or more of these three problems:

Unexpected cloud complexity has put so much stress on the newly formed cloudops groups that they have actually risked outages and breaches. This issue has not yet been discussed, but I believe it to be the reality, based on information from this report as well as the fact that 2019 had flatter than expected cloud growth. Growth will continue to flatten out until the complexity issue is resolved

Second, the myths around lift and shift have led many enterprises to move applications to public clouds on this speedy and least-cost path. Then they realize the applications must be refactored to be optimized and take full advantage of the public cloud host. They end up migrating twice.

Third, a lack of cloud talent restricts growth. A majority of senior executives (63 percent) say a talent shortage is one of their organization’s major concerns. This according to Gartner’s Emerging Risks Survey for 2019.

The answer to all of these problems is to return to pragmatic, fundamental leveraging of cloud technology—or any technology, for that matter. This means understanding that successful cloud computing requires realistic expectations and solid planning, including picking common services such as security and governance.

Cloud technology providers need to offer their clients more assistance to understand the pragmatic use of cloud computing technology. The overpromising comes from way too much marketing hype that touts easy migrations to the public cloud when very few of those easy migrations actually exist. It seems my job during the past year has been to run around the country and disappoint those who believed the hype. 

Don’t lose sight of the fact that, for most enterprises, moving to the public cloud is a worthwhile journey with both short- and long-term benefits. However, you need to understand the realities. Take the necessary actions to avoid the mistakes I’ve listed, and things will be just fine. 

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