About four or five years ago, the main concerns surrounding cloud computing centered around control, security, and compliance. Nowadays however, enterprises are focused on the issues of talent, infrastructure readiness, and budgets, writes InfoWorld’s David Linthicum. Currently, enterprise IT remains split almost evenly in their willingness to embrace cloud computing, with about half for, half against.
This is a fairly typical adoption curve, given the large number of changes cloud computing engenders, he said. But he brings up an interesting question: are the new obstacles – talent, infrastructure readiness, and budget mentioned previously – real stumbling blocks? Or simply excuses made to maintain the status quo?
Yes, there is a talent shortage at the moment. Enterprises are struggling with the limited supply of developers and administrators with cloud computing skills, certainly. And hiring managers are a little shaken up by the high salaries cloud developers and admins are commanding. But as demand increases, so will the available talent pool.
Organizations are also dealing with the need to upgrade existing networks and data center hardware to support the requirements of moving some systems to public and hybrid clouds. Vendors are even promoting their own “cloud readiness assessment” tools to engage customers and help them transition their infrastructure. But the move to cloud computing could enable enterprises to slow down their ‘forklift upgrade’ cycle, since they won’t have to manage and maintain as much on-premise infrastructure.
Budget concerns are also legitimate, since there’s often an initial upfront investment in addition to monthly contract costs. As Linthicum says, “They can’t spend $5 million upfront to reduce their IT costs from $100 million to $75 million annually,” there are still budgets within which they have to work. Budget isn’t an issue exclusive to cloud computing technology. There’s always a need to balance costs and benefits and to analyze potential return on investment before dollars are spent.
Even as some obstacles to cloud adoption are being minimized, new ones are emerging. And while in some cases, these roadblocks are simply a manifestation of a company’s resistance to change, they aren’t always excuses. In fact, the heated dialogue and analysis of the “why”s and “why not”‘s is actually a positive sign – the more discussion about the flaws and drawbacks of the cloud, the more quickly those issues can be addressed and conquered, and the stronger the technology can be.
About the Author: This post is by Rackspace blogger Sharon Florentine. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.