Cutting through the confusion of cloud adoption

With every new technology that hits the market, there is an bound to be a learning period where companies need to sift through the hype and reviews from users that do not fully understand it to figure out if it is right for their business. This is where organization decision-makers currently find themselves when it comes to cloud computing.

A recent article from The Guardian examined the current state of the technology and why many organizations are still struggling to adopt it. If you started asking executives about their feelings on the system, you are likely to get a response that revolves around everything from it being the future to it being a major disruption. The problem, as the article points out, is that the cloud is still misunderstood.

The piece mentions that there are two common pitfalls companies fall into when it comes to the cloud: over-estimating its power and under-estimating its potential effect. Essentially this causes miscalculations to occur and makes the cloud more of a problem than it is worth as there is much potential left untapped.

Another problem is that the cloud is not the goal for most companies. It is a tool to help businesses overcome challenges and improve how they operate. On top of that, the cloud can be adopted in a number of ways and it is unlikely that two organizations will use the platform in the same way.

"It's generally accepted that when it comes to IT, one size does not fit all," the article reads. "Similarly, within a business, not every application has the same infrastructure requirements. IT decisions are influenced by a number of different factors, whether it be the sensitivity of the data, the level of availability required or the need to scale computing power up and down."

This all builds to the fact that businesses are complex entities and as a result their infrastructure requirement is complex as well. Therefore a range of platforms could be needed and the most efficient IT environments will be able to combine cloud services—whether they are public, private or a hybrid hosted solution—with traditional legacy systems, such as on-premise servers or co-location facilities.

A recent report from IDC expressed a similar point. The cloud by itself is not as impactful as when it is fully integrated with an existing IT infrastructure. It is essentially just a cog in the entire business machine that will vary in size depending on the needs of the organization.

"For the cloud to have maximum impact within a business it cannot be held in isolation but must be integrated with existing IT," the report reads. "Too many organizations end up rushing towards the cloud, mistakenly believing that it is a panacea to all their infrastructure woes. This trend is being driven further by the easy access businesses have to the 'plug and play' model of IT services."

This doesn't mean companies should be afraid of the cloud and start moving away. Instead, organizations should embrace it but with the help of an IT consulting firm that specializes in the cloud and everything it is about. This method can ensure organizations have a hand when it comes to embracing a complex system and getting the most out of it.