Beyond Drinking the Cloud Kool-Aid

By Debbie Yedlin
Practice Leader
February 19, 2015 | 3:30 PM

So, your staff has finished the Cloud Kool Aid, and you now have to seriously consider what to do because you know that Cloud is not the resolution to world hunger or the answer to global warming. So what are some of the pragmatic considerations for CIOs as they make business assessments as to what REALLY fits?


Moving a service like email or social media to the Cloud has minimal impact to the organization and the potential for positive overall results. But what about the production applications and the data centers that support them – those mission critical applications that are also your major cost drivers? Is the Cloud ready to efficiently and effectively support those applications? Perhaps not.

Before you consider moving your production applications, you must do your homework. Moving to the Cloud is no different than executing any other major infrastructure change. It takes major planning and skills to evaluate and implement. First you must integrate Cloud into your overall IT strategy. Focus on applications where you need “access anywhere” (e.g., mobile or other service applications). Determine if the Cloud will simplify your online configuration (e.g., maintenance, repairs) and make upgrades less daunting. Review your requirements for disaster recovery or your data centers, and see what is viable for a Cloud move (including that data center consolidation that you keep deferring).

Be sure that the total cost of ownership is affordable and results are in a manageable price range. Cloud is not always the cost effective solution it is thought to be. Have mechanisms in place to manage all of the Cloud challenges: application readiness, security, cost, organizational skills and capabilities, and the challenges around change in your organization. And above all, understand that Cloud does not fit all technology and business situations. You are more likely to evolve to a hybrid model, with workable applications in the Cloud, while maintaining some of your production applications locally.

To site one example, we recently worked with a services organization that assumed the organization would be moving to the Cloud. However, the Client had extensive contracts with customers who required our Client to manage their information locally. As a consequence, even though our Client reviewed Cloud, co-location, and internally controlled infrastructure, they decided to select the internal option. Surprisingly, it was more cost effective, allowed them to spread the cost of their current data center (sunk cost) and was in direct compliance with their existing customer contracts. If they had not done their in-depth analysis upfront, they may have made a costly mistake by going to the Cloud.

How can TBI help you overcome the Cloud Kool Aid syndrome? We support organizations with a range of Cloud Advisory Services including:

For more information on TBI’s Cloud Computing, please contact TBI or you can reach us at: 201.573.0400.

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