Cloud Cost – Journey without a map

90% of the companies that we talk to currently have some kind of cloud strategy, whether they have already dabbled in cloud and got their proverbial fingers burnt or whether they are still trying to decide if and what cloud to adopt.

Cloud on the face of it seems quite simple, as consumers we all use cloud every day, whether its services that we interact with or whether its storing our music or photos, cloud is a part of our everyday lives. When it comes to adopting cloud from a business perspective, that’s a completely different challenge altogether.

Gartner told us recently that for every 4 calls they take, 3 of them are cloud related and it’s not just which cloud, or what to put in the cloud, its bigger concerns that keep our CIO`s awake at night, it’s no longer just about deploying a solution, it’s about a complete operating model. Does that sound familiar? Gartner believes that that it’s about a bi-model of working, keeping the systems running but also supporting the business in an agile way.

We hear a lot about “Cloud First” and development that starts with a cloud focus, but what happens to all of those legacy systems which have kept your company running for years, they can’t just be redeveloped with a cloud first strategy. Based on my experience I have come up with 5 simple questions that any organisation can ask themselves to understand if they are ready to look at developing a cloud strategy.

  1. Are you in control of your cloud destiny or are you being pushed down an uncertain path?
  2. Do you know the size and type of service you need for public cloud?
  3. Do you know which business applications you can move into the cloud?
  4. Are you able to articulate to the business what the services costs are once in the cloud?
  5. Can you forecast predicted cloud usage and costs based on the business growth?

If you have answered No to any of the above questions, then my suggestion would be to define a strategy based on analytics and knowledge, then decisions can be made on what makes sense for your business and your business alone. It may be that a hybrid approach is taken, it may make more sense to keep some of your applications on premise, understanding and getting that insight is key to any successful cloud adoption.

Working with a particular client that took the decision 2 years ago to move to the cloud, they had a predicted monthly cost (Best Guestimate) of around £30,000. Six months later, they discovered that £30,000 was over £100,000… suffice to say they moved everything back out of the cloud and went back to the drawing board.

There isn’t a one size fits all answer to cloud, it has to be whatever is right for your business at that time, because one thing I haven’t mentioned is that your cloud requirements will evolve, what is right today, maybe won’t be right in 6 months, so having a starting point and a strategy is key, but adding, tweaking and developing that strategy is what makes the difference.

Sara Morley
Performance and Availability Specialist

For the latest updates and industry insights, follow us on Twitter @FusionGBS, Facebook and LinkedIn

By Daniel Swann