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How to Avoid the Cloud Acceleration Backlash
Cloud Management, Remote work, Thought Leadership

How to Avoid the Cloud Acceleration Backlash

By Jay Litkey | October 22, 2020

Retail banks are closing their branches and opening self-service banking cafes. Forklift operators are controlling their machines from home. Teachers and students are connecting outside the walls of classrooms and newly remote employees are trading urban lifestyles for more space elsewhere. Cloud acceleration is underpinning a massive change in the world.

The pandemic will continue to drive even faster conversion to cloud-based IT for businesses across so many industries. According to new analysis from IDC, the market for cloud services and the wider ecosystem around it could top $1 trillion by 2024.

“By the end of 2021, based on lessons learned in the pandemic, most enterprises will put a mechanism in place to accelerate their shift to cloud-centric digital infrastructure and application services twice as fast as before the pandemic,” noted Richard L. Villars, group vice president of worldwide research at IDC.

Rightsizing your expectations

But if the market is accelerating at such a rapid pace, why does it simultaneously feel like cloud migration is such a slow process?

I am often asked why transitioning to the cloud takes so long and what can executives do to speed up that migration. I remind these leaders that while it may be painful to wait on new business-critical infrastructure and services, rushing to the cloud blindly is actually worse.

The pandemic forced many companies to embrace the cloud faster than they were originally anticipating in order to support their employees amidst the shift to remote work. If you were one of the organizations that accelerated your digital transformation journey to simply keep up, you’re not alone. But it’s important to keep in mind that any cloud usage burst will inevitably lead to more expense. Despite popular belief, the cloud is oftentimes much more expensive than the data center – if you don’t plan for it accurately.

Strategically moving to public cloud

Years ago, we saw many large corporations take the plunge into public cloud to see what the buzz was all about. Instead of saving money, many learned early on that you don’t go to the public cloud to save money, you go to public cloud for agility.

So, the question became, if you’re not going to save vast amounts of money using public cloud, how much will you overspend?

The answer: well, it could be a lot.

Treating public cloud like an extension of your existing data centers is a surefire way to run up a bill and miss out on the advantage of cloud native technologies. So much of today’s cloud consumption occurs in an ad-hoc or varied fashion across several pockets — especially within large organizations.

The cloud may have been an inevitability for organizations looking to increase their agility and the speed of innovation during this time of uncertainty, but it’s also complex. With the initial promise of the cloud, organizations were rushing to implement ‘the next great thing,’ but many failed to successfully create a hybrid strategy. There were no guardrails or guidelines implemented alongside cloud strategies, as in many cases, there simply wasn’t time.

Taking the hybrid approach

My advice? Remember that hybrid cloud isn’t going anywhere – you don’t have to go all-in public cloud. A hybrid strategy can provide greater agility and innovation while controlling cost and risk across the organization. But it can’t be an afterthought.

If you made the jump to the cloud to keep your business up and running, remember to take a step back and ensure you have the right policies in place for long-term success. That includes best practices like incorporating automation, implementing power schedules, leveraging reserved instances and regularly analyzing usage patterns for rightsizing or downsizing opportunities.

Get an accurate sense of how much you could save at any stage of your cloud transformation journey with our Hybrid Cloud Management Cost Saving Calculator.

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