“Cloud computing: what next? From security to automation, data analysis to transformation, what are your main priorities from Cloud moving forward?”
Cloud computing is reportedly playing a massive role in supporting the world’s digital economy during the pandemic and will continue to help companies weather unpredictable times. In fact, coronavirus validated cloud’s value proposition. Last year, the sudden shift to remote working catalyzed many cloud journeys already in progress and forced laggards to rethink their pace. So, what next?
Members of HotTopics.ht’s technology leaders community discussed that very question in our last Meetup. And although cloud as a solution has been touted with many benefits over the years, the range of experiences from users, the almost unique industry conditions right now, competition from on-premise providers and the cultural considerations for cloud adoption all mean there is still a lack of consensus on exactly what happens next. Below, however, are eight commonalities presented by our moderators from their debates at the Meetup. Thank you to Mansi Thapar, Alison Davis, Georgina Owens, Vukosi Sambo, Nigel Lemmon, Mark Chillingworth and our own Peter Stojanovic for your expert moderations and note taking which made this article possible.
1 — Further flexibility, agility and scalability
Many of our leaders considered these three traits as the most advertized benefits of cloud, by relying on collaborative working between various departments and locations, and enjoying the real-time freedom of scaling up and down in response to demand. On the other hand, some speakers made the point that agility is not solely a benefit of cloud vendors because some private data centre providers can replicate a lot of cloud’s solutions and capabilities.
2 — Opex vs Capex?
The relative costs of cloud associated with opex and capex need to work for your business—and sometimes it’s not clear from the outset where those costs lie. For example, greater expense upfront means less cash for day-to-day operations or new investments, but is seen as an investment in improving the business that will return value in the future. Pay as you go, or opex, can’t make that prediction.
3 — ClouVid impact
Within the rush of hybrid digitalization last year to counter the effects of the pandemic, lots of companies adopted new technologies, solutions and products, such as cloud. Technology leaders agreed that Covid-19 accelerated cloud migration, however, the “rush” at which most organizations have had to do this raised questions about legacy technology and technology debt. The next task to clear the deadweight.
4 — Cloud data governance
Defining what data means to an organization is one of the cloud data governance’s best practices. Some of our speakers referred to the deficiency in data governance programs in a lot of organizations and vendor agreements, however. They believe that the interpretation of data is one of the most valuable things to do when you are moving forward with cloud, as the ability to map and interpret data at scale and pace will be the competitive advantage in our data-rich future.
5 — Security: who owns what?
Vendor trust was discussed too, in tandem with the security principles guiding many cloud solutions. When formalizing agreements, qualify who has responsibility for security and privacy features within your cloud infrastructure so you can work better together to protect your assets and minimize disruption.
6 — Reliability and resilience
One of the main reasons to migrate to the cloud is to be more resilient. It can offer organizations better capacity to manage the flow of clients’ demands and technically therefore should reduce downtime. Last year, however, because of the huge number of companies moving to the cloud during the pandemic, some cloud providers couldn’t cope, which resulted in a multi hour outages worldwide. Is the reliability of cloud now in question?
7 — Hybrid cloud
The hybrid cloud model is still the most popular, as most of our technology leaders believe that some important parts of their business could not move to the cloud, such as training programs and security protocols that protect business. For example, one of our technology leaders has 75% of their business in the cloud, while the other has moved “more cautiously”, with 50%. Getting the right balance for your business and context is still the most important aspect of cloud to get right.
8 — Cultural cloud
Any cloud adoption requires a culture change. Teams are required to shift working methods and pace, and consider a new way of working and thinking. Cloud adoption also invariably means job losses in some teams, so how is that sold and are you considering up/re-skilling to offset any loss of talent? Members agreed that the culture of cloud was often forgotten during initial talks and needs more time to get it right.
Would you like to share your insights with like-minded leaders?
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