On the one hand, migrating to public cloud infrastructure is enabling the strategic agility that makes modern IT strategic partners in the modern enterprise. On the other hand, IT is losing control in that public clouds have become something of a “Hotel California” proposition; you can check out any time you like, but it’s pretty tough to leave.
Now, that’s not necessarily all bad. Hey! On the plus side, you have far fewer decisions to make. On the other hand, your cloud destiny is now whatever your public cloud provider says it is. And they also get to decide how much you’re going to pay for it.
So, what can you do about it?
I’m glad you asked! You can (and should) do three important things:
- Understand where you are: As soccer coaches the world over say, “Get your head up!” and understand what’s out there. You don’t have to become an expert in all things cloud, but you should have access to experts that are. A couple of good places to start are Flexera’s “State Of The Cloud Report” (free) and 451 Research’s Cloud Price Index (not free). From there, all the major IT consultants offer products & services to help you benchmark your cloud operations against your peers.
- Build a map to where you want to be: Don’t just architect for “the cloud,” architect for hybrid and multi-clouds. It’s a hot topic, and “everyone is talking about it.” The secret is that it’s also achievable. Now. And until you can quickly and inexpensively move your applications and data to (and from!) more than one cloud, that one cloud owns you. (I’ll be expanding on this theme in the next couple of posts in this series).
- Execute! Once you’ve accomplished 1 and 2, you’re ready to change the balance of power between you and your cloud providers. When you can move (mostly) freely between cloud vendors, price negotiations take on a whole new flavor. Because, and this is the critical bit, if the cloud provider your currently speaking with can’t or won’t meet your cost, technology, or pretty much any other requirements, you can move on to someone can and will.
Congratulations! You’ve reclaimed your cloud destiny.