Should you use Cloud IT?
If you talk to anyone in IT for very long and the term The Cloud will come up in some way shape or form. Of course, we provide a number of ways you can use The Cloud to help your business and there are many reasons why The Cloud is a good place for you.
However there are a number of reasons why you should stop and seriously consider whether The Cloud is the right place. Let’s look at a few:
1. You’re fine where you are with existing investment in technology
If you have invested in a local infrastructure in the last three years, you are still within the effective lifetime of that investment. Your accountant won’t have depreciated the assets either.
2. You have a slow or unreliable internet connection
This may be the biggest blocker to migrating into The Cloud. With so much reliance on your internet connection, you need to be confident it won’t impact your ability to work effectively. Your cloud provider will advise on how much bandwidth you need and the level of redundancy it is sensible to have in place. The cost of bandwidth is continuously falling, so, again, this isn’t the problem it used to be.
3. The Cloud isn’t designed for your application or your application isn’t designed for the cloud
Usually because of the file sizes involved. Photoshop, InDesign and CAD products (etc.) generate huge files and moving that data up and down an internet connection means either poor productivity or a very expensive internet connection.
If your applications do a lot of automated graphics rendering or you need real-time visibility, you really shouldn’t go into The Cloud. Share trading, air traffic control and weather forecasting are just some examples.
4. You have high security requirements
Data is a valuable commodity in today’s society and there are plenty of people out there trying to get your data. Many people are worried that cloud solutions don’t have the security in place. Compliance requirements such as PCI-DSS need to be considered if you are processing credit card data and let’s not even get started on the US government’s “requirement” to have access to your data if it is hosted on US soil!
5. You’re regulated and have stringent requirements
The service provided by some cloud providers may not meet the stringent requirements required by regulations in such industries as Financial services or Legal.
6. Your applications require processing of large amount of data requiring extreme disk input/output operations and low latency.
Latency may be measured if very small bits but they have a nasty habit of adding up. Most UK backbones are built of fibre, but that doesn’t mean the data moves at the speed of light, as there are many factors that will increase latency – let’s not get too techy at this point – and slow down the movement of data. When time literally does equal money, cutting the distance the data has to travel can make a difference.
7. Your applications are tightly linked to other applications.
If you application is tightly linked to other applications using custom code it may not be a easy to move it to a public cloud. You may need to look at a private cloud which are usually more expensive.
8. “Cloud” is a dirty word in our organisation
Oops. Someone senior had a nasty experience in the past with The Cloud? The Cloud has been around for many years and many companies took the plunge too early; when the necessary internet speeds simply weren’t there. Even though things have moved on considerably, that’s a bone that won’t stay buried. Nothing is changing here until that person moves on.
9. I will be a small fish in a big pool and have no leverage over my vendor
What do you need leverage for? If they are delivering on their promises and you are paying your bills…..
Some of these are valid reasons, particularly when they are application or security-related. If these impact your business, we say stay local, but let’s talk about where your backups are (and a half). For the rest, we’re happy to talk.