Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Don’t blame the cloud

I often read articles which say something like:

- ”Don’t go to the cloud, it’s not safe”
- “Office 365 down for several hours – what did I tell you”
- “Datacenter on Ireland knocked out by thunderstorm – keep it on-premise”
- “Companies will move back IT on-premise in the future, away from the service providers”

And that often said by trusted IT advisors and renowned journalists. This makes me a bit confused and irritated. I also ask myself: how trustworthy is it to diss the evolution?

Of course; we have to and should review all small as big service providers. If they deliver in time, to agreed service levels, established penalties and so on. Cloud computing and service providers should be reviewed, no doubt.

But, and that’s a big BUT, what if keeping all in-house/on-premise; what will happen when the thunderstorm comes to you, you get hacked or firewalls and gateways start to loop? How will this affect the core business? Can you afford to keep all necessary knowledge in-house or having support agreements with very short response time? Can you afford to have or buy HA-environments in-house? Does your IT have established SLA's (or OLA's) and will you get paid from the IT-department if they don’t meet them? If you say yes to all of this then you are lucky and are most probably one of a few + your owner or the management isn’t informed or don’t understand the actual cost.

Don’t ever go to a restaurant. It’s awful and scary to meet new people, order a nice meal to a known price, to have a pro chef cook your hopefully excellent meal. It’s also unnecessary to have the possibility to complain if something doesn’t taste like it should or if the table doesn’t meet your preferences of a good table. And that you definitely can leave and go to another restaurant isn’t your style. Stay at home and cook, it might be cheaper buying but it will most probably cost some time to cook and if you burn it…. then you most probably not will have the dinner you planned for. Who to blame then? Not me! “Bah! A nice dinner is overrated…” And don’t even think about looking up or reserve table on the Internet…it’s a cloud service.

I don’t say cloud services are perfect all the time in every way. And as I say in my article ‘Cloud – by TeleComputing’ I don’t say you should or can put everything in the cloud; X-ray equipment’s will never be sourced in a datacenter on Ireland, the software might be but not the equipment. Laws will say you can’t store some data outside the organization or country. Hybrids exist and will keep on existing.

For sure:
When there is a power outage, a thunder storm, services stops or lack in quality or whatever similar else happens at a service provider, the service provider will do everything they can to solve the incident. Why? Because service levels will start to tick, penalties will cost and reputation will start to drop. Being a service provider means being a pro of delivering services. Service providers will do everything to deliver a secure, available service – it’s a mindset.

The affect will of course be extensive if an incident hits a multicustomer service provider. And it will be written and read about. But what about all outage on-premise solutions, have they been counted, how much do they cost and what frustration does it cause the organization?

Stop this “retrogressive nonsense” that cloud is all things bad. A trusted advisor should advise the best for its customer, and cloud is for sure a good part of a solution. Stop blame the evolution of IT, blame yourself for not telling the big picture. Stop blame the cloud. Then, and only then, you will be a trusted advisor.

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