On the 25th of June 1963, John F. Kennedy addressed an anxious crowd in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt. At the time there was great tension around the political and economical transatlantic partnership, and they looked to JFK to provide leadership and steady the boat in tumultuous waters. To that end he delivered a very important speech with a very simple core message: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
A more recent and somewhat more well known quote by Leo Buscaglia builds on this notion: “We all fear what we don’t know – it’s natural”. It’s true, of course, and perhaps more so in business than anywhere else in society. Change can be daunting, but it is the very essence of progress and tomorrow’s leaders will be shaped by their ability to navigate the changing landscape today. I’m specifically starting my discussion off with this topic, because much of the IT world is currently in a state of significant transition, discovery and advancement. It’s called the fourth industrial revolution, and it is here now! ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/04/05/why-everyone-must-get-ready-for-4th-industrial-revolution/#8fb1c3779c98).
A big part of this change is centred on cloud technology, and the transition of on-premises systems into massive online data centres such as those Microsoft uses for Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and much more besides. It’s a big shift, and understandably it has raised many questions and a number of misconceptions, which I’d like to address to some degree here. These are what I consider the top cloud myths of moving to the cloud, and why the cloud is more often than not a necessary transition either now or in the near future.
Cloud Technology Myth 1: Cloud security is riskier than on-premises
This is one of the quickest and most important to dispel. The simple fact is that a well-managed cloud environment is usually an order of magnitude safer than most company intranets. It’s heavily standardised and compliant with most or all of the international security standards (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/compliance/complianceofferings), automated to the point where reaction times are often in the milliseconds and failovers are cross-continental and almost instantaneous, the environment is always up to date with regards to software and the security is such that decommissioned hard drives are actually wiped seven times, and then physically destroyed (http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2013/04/top-ten-lesser-known-facts-about-windows-azure-security/).
Cloud Technology Myth 2: Azure is relatively new, so it isn’t reliable yet
Microsoft Azure has actually been around since February 1, 2010, and has since expanded to become a dominating force in the global cloud community. There are multiple data centers in 38 regions across the world, with some individual server farms reaching sizes exceeding 4 football fields and having enough cables to circle the earth twice. While there are over 80 individual Azure services on offer and many of them are indeed new, the core platform is mature and very stable. In fact, over 85% of the Forbes Fortune 500 companies are using Azure (https://www.onmsft.com/news/build-2016-85-fortune-500-use-azure-30-unique-azure-regions)
Cloud Technology Myth 3: All clouds are created equal
There is some confusion about what actually constitutes ‘cloud’. In terms of vendors, Microsoft has been placed as a de-facto leader according to Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) report based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute in the IaaS market (http://www.cloudstrategymag.com/articles/86315-microsoft-named-a-leader-by-gartner). Microsoft is currently the only recognised vendor across Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions for enterprise cloud workloads. Unfortunately, a trend has emerged within the industry in which some service providers tend to label many of their offerings as cloud technologies, but these are often examples of ‘cloudwashing’, which are at best pseudo-substitutes and at worst outright lies. The ramifications to customers relying on ‘fake’ clouds can be quite disastrous in the long run (http://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/true-cloud-solutions.shtml).
All of the above gives you reason enough to reconsider your move to the cloud, and more specifically Microsoft Azure services. I have more Cloud Technology Myths which you are able to read now in Part 2 of the Top Cloud Myths in Technology.
Karabina can assist you with your transition to the cloud through advisory, consulting or project engagements. Contact us.