A quick disclaimer: I have never been a CIO. As an executive consultant, I have the luxury of popping in to solve a specific challenge that is typically just one piece of the puzzle. There are some valid excuses I’m aware of for delaying cloud adoption, and probably some that I have yet to encounter as well. Still, there are some commons ones I often hear that are not valid. It is those which I aim to address here.
#1 – “The cloud is not secure.” This statement would be harder to prove that disprove. Public cloud providers like Amazon and HP have numerous certifications around security practices and standards, more than a typical IT organization. Examples include CSA STAR, SAS70, SSAE16, and FIMSA controls, just to name a few. How would your organization do on audits from those four professional standards organizations? Here’s a good Network World article (link to: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/072312-amazo
#2 – “Cloud technologies are not yet enterprise-class.” Nope, not true. Cloud technologies are the Formula 1™ race cars of the IT world today; the most advanced stuff out there. Look at who’s using cloud, and what they’re using it for, and this excuse disintegrates very quickly. Have you seen a demo of HP CloudSystem? That thing rocks! Many US government agencies are already using cloud technologies, both private and public. The Feds have even developed a fast track program (FedRAMP) to certify providers that they believe can serve the broader Federal government community. I can think of a few big companies that should probably adopt a similar approach to promote cloud adoption.
#3 – “We can’t make the business case.” You don’t need to. You know all those cloud vendors knocking at your door (like HP)? We know that cloud requires a different business case model, and we want to help you communicate that. We know the business case is important, so we'll help you address it head-on. HP has even developed a stand-alone consulting offering solely around helping customers define their cloud business case. Yes, this will require a heart to heart with your CFO, but it’s a good conversation to have. Typically, cloud offers her or him a solid way to address two of the biggest challenges s/he is facing: cost containment and utilizing assets & resources more efficiently.
So there you have it. Those are the top 3 excuses I hear from CIOs who are dragging their feet on cloud adoption, and why I think they’re bogus. That said, they’re also not easy to address. Defining your security needs for cloud providers takes considerable time and effort, as does building a business case model that works for your organization. Designing your future state architecture to include cloud, and what is the right mix of internal/external infrastructure and services will be an ongoing effort, as providers and technologies continue to evolve.
The first step is having an honest conversation with your IT leadership about what you can tackle on your own, and where you should bring in outside experts.
Where to start? Find out more about HP’s Cloud Planning Services @ http://www8.hp.com/us/en/business-services/it-serv
What are your thoughts about these roadblocks? I’d like to hear more about your experiences.