What is the long term forecast….. can we expect clouds?

Anyone who has worked in IT, particularly in the Financial sector, will appreciate the revolving door of wholesale out-sourcing, in-sourcing, strategic outsourcing and one hundred other flavours in between. Well my question is. “What is the long term forecast….. can we expect clouds?”

The simple answer is yes, they’re here and they’re here to stay. But wait a minute, before you exit all your prime data centre real estate and sell them to the cloud providers, is the outlook completely overcast?

Now, I’m not talking SaaS services, I’m talking using a cloud provider to host all or large portions of your applications, storage, compute…. outsourcing your infrastructure and application hosting. Furthermore, it’s important to state that there is definitely a massive advantage in doing this, not only will it bring a level of application understanding we have all been crying out for for years but it should also deliver cost transparency, dynamic east/west scalability and massive operational visibility, automation and therefore uptime.

But….. once we have refactored our apps, built our intent driven, cloud ops SRE function, delivered zero touch provisioning full end to end automation….. and had time to fall off our chairs at the fees and complexity of the bills. It’s my firm belief that we will be looking to move all or part of our estate back into our own data centres.

The key to this successful re-Insource, at some point in the future, will be preparation. Whilst our application developers, program managers and Cloud SRE’s are busy moving to the cloud, we should, in parallel learn everything we can from the cloud builders to design and deliver a safe landing zone for the inevitable repatriation that will come when cost is revisited.

In essence, let’s use the Cloud to rewrite our applications, understand our costs and refresh our infrastructure, with best practices learnt and homed in the cloud, brought back on-prem, delivered at lower cost.

Therefore, vendors who build cloud migration capabilities will be king. Enterprises that plan ahead can use the time we have whilst migrating to the cloud to rebuild our foundations, settle our technical debt and develop the right entry port to effectively deal with the inevitable migration future financial austerity will most certainly bring.

Firms are already republishing their Cloud strategies to draw focus away from cost saves with a renewed emphasis on the undisputed benefits of cost transparency, scale and agility that the cloud offers.

It is my opinion that the long term (3 to 5 year) forecast will be one of substantial cloud adoption. This is certainly driving us towards developing better applications that are agile and flexible, but the biggest benefit will be one of understanding the true cost of an application against the profit or benefit earned from it.

However, we will be returning to on premise hosting and the smart money will be on those organisations who can plan an on premise strategy that will enable and support the repatriation of applications back on premise whilst offering comparable flexibility, scale and cost transparency as enjoyed within the cloud. Ultimately blurring the lines between on and off prem services but consisting of a suitable mix of the two.

[email protected]