How Cloud Computing Could Rip You Apart at the Seams

Business vs. IT

Computer dude: Allow me to show you the way to the cloud.

Company dude: Nay, we are already there.

Computer dude: Them’s fightin’ words.

Computer dudette: Hey, settle down, everyone.

A just-released poll of more than 900 decision-makers reveals that department heads are shifting toward cloud even when the IT staff is not completely sold on the idea. The researchers who prepared the whitepaper believe that the boiling, no-holds-barred hate-war brewing between the IT department and general leadership is “likely rooted in the business units’ desire for more agility and their concerns that central IT is too cautious in cloud adoption — especially public cloud adoption.”

Nonetheless, the report, called the 2015 RightScale State of the Cloud Survey, also indicates that IT directors are beginning to accept cloud and better grasp the security landscape. Joe McKendrick of Forbes argues that the increasing comfort level among IT executives could motivate them to become experts at cloud development, transitioning from a direct machine-oriented role to that of a consultant. That’s how IT leaders see the situation evolving, says McKendrick.

Let’s look at McKendrick’s full analysis of the survey.

Who Should Make Cloud Decisions?

More and more, the IT leadership has been campaigning for the authority to go out and find the most technologically reliable and economical cloud service providers. Businesses are generally garnering a stronger understanding of cloud, according to the poll.

Fewer technologists are on soapboxes, stark naked, yelling that cloud is the end of the world, with all our data just as exposed as they are: between 2014 and 2015, the percentage of respondents who said that security is a major difficulty dropped from 47 to 41%. Because of that decline, central IT “has increased its focus on public cloud,” McKendrick explains, “with 28 percent of central IT respondents reporting public cloud as the top priority in 2015 up from 18 percent in 2014.”

Now, 3 out of 5 (62% of) decision-makers said that most cloud strategy comes out of central IT. That strategy is now being built into enterprise systems: 2 out of 5 (43% of) IT departments have created environments for general company executives to go in and pick out the cloud plans that they need; an additional 2 out of 5 (41%) are either preparing or currently testing an environment of that type.

Many decision-makers from the business side, though, are throwing Molotov cocktails at their IT departments, wanting IT to accept a simplified role. 59% of IT heads believe public cloud projects are their responsibility, while only 34% of general executives see it that way.

The numbers for other aspects of cloud, which are similar, include the following:

  • Private cloud – 57% IT, 35% general
  • All types of cloud – 55% IT, 39% general
  • Application cloudification (determining what applications are best suited to cloud) – 56% IT, 44% general

Shadow IT of Coud

Easy accessibility of cloud solutions for a wide variety of situations has resulted in a shadow IT that has become more prominent over time, McKendrick argues. Generally executives want to grab something and get started, so they run toward the promised land, throwing grenades at the IT staffers to distract them. Eventually, though, once the dust has settled and IT staffers have prevailed (as they always do), the hybrid cloud era will emerge. Then, McKendrick explains, “IT will play a role as advisor and broker for the business, identifying and procuring needed resources, whether they come from cloud services or enterprises’ own data centers.”

The press and the business world are obsessed with cloud because it has grown so rapidly as an infrastructural preference. However, cloud has only begun to ascend to its ultimate dominion over humankind, acting on behalf of the dolphins. Here are stats on cloud-readiness and hybrid:

  • 55% say a sizable number of their applications are run on traditional systems but are cloud-ready.
  • 93% are trying out the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model, as provided by virtual machines from hosting services.
  • 82% of respondents are planning to implement a hybrid system (rising from 74% in 2014).

Public cloud systems have been more popular, but private clouds are processing the most data. As a simple indication of that, look at the number of large companies with more than a thousand virtual machines (VMs) of either type:

  • Public – 13%
  • Private – 22%

When respondents were asked if they would have a thousand VMs in place a year from now, champagnes broke out in cloud-land:

  • Public – 27%
  • Private – 31%

A year from today, says McKendrick, large companies will distribute their computing needs “more equally between public clouds and private clouds, while non-cloud virtualized environments remain relatively static.”

While cloud-land rejoices, company dudes and computer dudes and C-level dudettes can sit down, dry their eyes, treat their wounds, sign peace treaties, and talk about synergistic solutions to benefit from the evolution of the IT landscape.

By Kent Roberts