Why we don’t always recommend Cloud

By Martin Thurgate | September 14, 2017

ConsiderCloudIn the last 5 years or so, ‘Cloud’ has certainly become a hot topic and rightly so. There are many benefits to be gained from Cloud based technology, as computing resources and software application can be managed and delivered to customers via the Internet, on many different platforms and devices. The pricing structure of Cloud is also typically seen as an advantage, as most Cloud solutions are billed via a monthly subscription, rather than traditional on premise solutions which typically come with large upfront costs.

But as with most technology discussions, there’s always one constant – complexity. All organisations have unique circumstances, and a ‘Cloud-fits-all’ mindset can be a dangerous approach. In fact, this mindset can be the cause of significant organisational disruption and cost overrun.

This was recently highlighted in an article by Computer Reseller News (CRN), which detailed why many Australian companies are actually reversing their decision to go to the Cloud. The article sites many examples of companies that made bold steps toward the Cloud, only to backtrack when the costs spiralled, connections stalled, and Cloud providers failed to deliver the expected outcomes.

Bill Shock

Bill shock is one of the major reasons cited for organisations transitioning away from Cloud technologies. The head of one of Australia’s leading data centres told CRN “Not all workloads are ready for the cloud. In the early days, a number of businesses jumped headlong into cloud only to be hit with a bit of bill shock causing a number to re-evaluate their cloud position.”

In my own experience, what continues to surprise me is that business people are generally unaware that Cloud solutions are a premium option, and are typically more expensive than a traditional on premise solution. The IT industry hasn’t done itself any favours in this regard, as Cloud is often marketed as being both superior and cheaper. But in my personal experience, I’ve yet to see a credible Cloud option which was cheaper than an equivalent on premise option.

Network Constraints

Another major issue sited by CRN was network constraints. The Cloud demands fast, stable internet connections, and this has proved the downfall of many Cloud migrations. This is particularly true in the case of voice and unified communication solutions, which are extremely sensitive to network congestion and speeds.

The NBN is certainly having a favourable impact on networking speeds, but as I’ve outlined in a previous blog the NBN has its own issues, most notable being very long provisioning times. Companies often have to wait for many months for an NBN service to be delivered, which can stall a Cloud migration that demands higher speeds.

Also, there are still many areas in Australia where options are limited with respect to bandwidth. A multi-site organisation I recently spoke with, is not yet able to get NBN, and while there are business grade fibre options available, they are very expensive. This organisation has stalled on its future technology decisions as they cannot transition to the Cloud until more affordable bandwidth options are available. Due to their existing infrastructure being old, this delay is putting the organisation at considerable risk.

What’s right for me?

One of the key points that I raise with my customers is that there are not necessarily right or wrong answers, but there usually is a ‘sweet-spot’ design which is different for every organisation. In many cases, the most appropriate solution is a ‘hybrid solution’, which integrates traditional on premise systems with one or more Cloud solutions. The design of a customer’s IT systems is typically impacted by their available bandwidth and their software applications. These factors usually determine whether a full migration to Cloud is appropriate and cost effective, or whether a hybrid or even on premise solution is best.

What’s important is to have an open mindset, as a Cloud solution may not necessarily be the most appropriate option for all workloads.

How can Diamond help?

For more information on Diamond IT's cloud offerings including IaaS, hosted voice or back-up offerings please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. To contact us simply complete the online form below or call us today on 1300 307 907.

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TAGS: Managed IT Services, Tech Trends and Tips, Business Value, Infrastructure Solutions

About the Author
Martin Thurgate

Director (BAppSci, MCSE) @ Diamond IT - After moving to Newcastle in the mid-nineteen nineties, Martin finished his IT degree and worked in a technical role in the internet services sector. He joined Diamond in 1998 as an IT technician and in 2000 he became a director and equal owner of the business. Over the next two decades Martin assumed various roles inside the business, including customer facing technical roles, direct sales, Sales Manager, Technical Services Manager and General Manager. This mix of hands on technology and business experience combined to make Martin one of the leading ICT experts in the region, with unique skills in helping businesses realise the potential benefits that ICT can deliver to increase productivity and reduce costs. Martin is most passionate about providing a superior customer experience, and helping other businesses harness the benefits of utilising technology. “Having built a highly dynamic, efficient, award winning business, I’m passionate about sharing my experiences and helping other businesses gain a competitive advantage through the use of technology.”