Is the Cloud Really the IT Panacea it is Claimed to be?

6 Jan 2017 | SAM/SLO

You may have noticed a bit of a push from certain of your software vendors recently with regard to their cloud offerings. While the cloud is viewed as strategic to the mega-vendors like Microsoft and Oracle, and investors view it as the next great thing, but is it really the solution to all IT problems?

So far everyone involved in this has been singing from the same hymn sheet, espousing its virtues, with no mention of potential problems. But, now a few industry people are starting to break ranks and question whether the cloud is right for everyone. These views were outlined in a 2016 edition of CRN (the channel magazine).

Challenges of the Cloud for Small & Large Organizations

Interestingly, their comments raise questions for organizations at both ends of the spectrum, from SMEs to large organizations.

The feeling at the small end of the market (less than 200 devices) was that the cost-benefit analysis of the cloud providers was actually being made against older on premise infrastructure. Whereas, more modern virtualized servers provide greater flexibility and scalability, that to a large extent negate most of the benefits of moving to the cloud. In many cases it would actually be more expensive moving to the cloud than running your own infrastructure.

It is a similar story for larger enterprises as well. Again, the more modern on premise infrastructures and technology are delivering significant cost savings and provide the agility and scalability which are often claimed for cloud-based solutions.

 

Software asset management and cloud

Will the Cloud Support your Competitive Edge?

One other factor that tends to be overlooked, and impacts organizations at both ends of the scale is flexibility. When you move anything to the cloud you have to adapt the way you do things to fit the cloud supplier’s ways of working.

Whilst this may not be an issue in many cases, if you have specific and competitive-edge processes that operate around your software, you may not be able to accommodate them in the new cloud world. So, you really need to factor this in when making the decision.

Still Need SAM in the Cloud

One final thing to consider is software licensing. Cloud suppliers will sell you on the idea that this will make non-compliance problems go away. Which, to a large extent it will as your users will not be able access software unless they have a valid license. However, to ensure that their employees are never faced with not being able to access the critical software they need to do their job, many organizations tend to over license.

While this will make you very popular with the software vendors, it is not good to needlessly overspend. This is where good software asset management (SAM) for cloud will help and prevent you wasting money on licenses you don’t need.

So, if you are coming under pressure to move part or all of your infrastructure to the cloud, look at the costs and benefits closely before making the jump. There needs to be clear analysis of your current infrastructure and strategy to ensure the cloud will still be able to support and accommodate these. This is especially important as we see some organizations ‘de-clouding’ and going back to on-premise, having been burnt by the experience.

Don’t fall into that trap.

If you would like to know more please get in touch with Certero.

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