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Cloud adoption is still in its infancy

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The Cloud is transforming business – among its many advantages it enables companies to ramp up and ramp down on their IT spending at any one moment – this can turn IT into a variable cost, rather than a fixed cost.  In so doing, it can greatly reduce initial upfront investment in technology.

The Cloud also supports multiple users, so that different people, perhaps even in different locations, can work on the same document or plan.

Yet, Cloud adoption is still in its infancy.

According to the “The State of Digital Transformation 2016” report, “While companies are prioritising Cloud adoption, less than one in ten have fully migrated to the Cloud.”

It said: “Half have started migrating to Cloud infrastructure (either private or public); 38 percent use a mix of on premises technology with either public or private/hybrid Cloud; and seven per cent do not use the Cloud at all.”

Yet, according to the report, IT leaders equate Cloud adoption with business success. No, less than 81 per cent say that moving infrastructure to the Cloud should be a top priority, while 83 per cent said it should be a board level priority.

Given that the Cloud is so vital, given that it promotes flexibility why is Cloud adoption still in infancy?

Part of the explanation lies with entrenched views. Many may see the Cloud as threat to their jobs, they are reluctant to adopt it.

For others, it may simply boil down to a fear of the unknown.

In other cases, the barrier may relate to legacy and a reluctance to accept that past investment into infrastructure may no longer be relevant.

But there is another issue, it is difficult to change while doing. Take as an example, a bank. Banks face threats from Fintech, new technology has lowered barriers to entry, many new companies do not face the same legacy hurdles that once gave them the advantage.  But somehow a bank must change, adopt new technologies such as the Cloud, but continue to offer its traditional service to customers.  A bank does not have the luxury of being able to shut down for few days, or even a few minutes, locking customers out, while it does an upgrade. On rare occasions, a bank suffers from IT failure, and for a short period some customers are unable to access their bank account – when this happens a storm of protest results and the media are full of headlines about customers who lost out because of the outage.

There may be an analogy with changing the convention on which side of the road cars must drive. Before September 3rd 1967, in Sweden, cars drove on the left had side of the road. That day, the convention was changed to the right-hand side. There was no intermediate step there was no moment when some cars drove on the left-hand side and others on the right, everything changed at that precise moment.

A large complex organisation battling with an IT legacy may face an analogous problem with changing to the Cloud. For the Swedish government of 1967, the change in the driving convention was a logistical nightmare.

Returning to ‘The State of Digital Transformation 2016” report, it stated: “Cloud infrastructure is key to creating seamless customer experiences and securing partner ecosystems. Three quarters of IT decision makers say it is easier to manage mobile app infrastructure in the Cloud, and over four in five (82 per cent) say using the Cloud allows them to more easily manage secure partner ecosystems.”

Its advantages are enormous, but Cloud adoption is still in its infancy largely because of legacy and entrenched views, it is not easy to change either, but across an organisation changing entrenched views may require new people; solving IT legacy requires a great deal of thought and entails major logistical challenges.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation