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Understanding the Psychology of Corporate IT and Cloud Migration

By February 25, 2014Article

It’s still early in the cloud adoption game. For every cloud-born company like Netflix that thinks of cloud as yesterday’s news, there are thousands of other companies that are just now considering taking advantage of this breakthrough technology. For example, a typical Global 2000 Enterprise has over 5,000 applications. But it’s estimated that more than 90 percent of its applications have yet to be migrated to the cloud. Why? 

The simple answer is: it’s hard. Challenges such as migration disruption and concerns about expense, performance and security keep these companies from attaining the benefits of the cloud. The bottom line: cloud providers have yet to understand the fundamental psychology of corporate IT. Having been down the road of cloud lock-ins far too many times and been scarred by it, IT departments at their core want to be able to manage their portfolio of applications effectively at scale. 

Today the cloud industry has evolved and matured, allowing corporate IT the freedom to migrate and manage applications without the costly and complex processes of the past. In their early days, cloud management platforms were very restrictive. Adopting organizations had to choose between manageability and portability — when the reality is corporate IT requires both. In addition, these early tools only offered narrow application coverage (primarily Web apps), unknown price-performance and security, and caused cloud service provider lock-ins. 

Emerging cloud migration platforms 

Emerging cloud migration platforms are designed to stretch the elastic nature of the cloud. The mantra behind today’s cloud management technology is a radical shift from where it was even five years ago. Today, the application is king. 

Gone are the days when applications were slaves to the cloud they were hosted in. Instead today’s solutions let the cloud morph and stretch to suit the demands of the application. That’s a very different approach and one that is far more appealing to a corporate IT organization. 

On the other hand, corporate IT departments need to know where their applications will run best. Not all clouds are created equal. 

The price and performance of cloud applications can vary greatly in different cloud environments; and with cloud platforms constantly evolving, what might be a good choice today may change dramatically next month. 

Considering the volume of applications in an enterprise ecosystem, determining where applications will run best can be a daunting task to deploy — especially with portability and manageability as keys. But it doesn’t have to be. 

We are seeing the emergence of benchmarking tools that can help decision makers make price/performance comparisons at any given time across a variety of cloud environments. These can be across any of the public clouds like those offered by HP, Dell, AWS, etc., private clouds or hybrid cloud models. With this insight, a company will be able to make informed decisions about where to best deploy different workloads and always ensure it is running the right workload on the right cloud — saving time and decreasing IT expenses. For instance, IT can choose to run a workload-intensive project on a private cloud and, based on that cost, choose to run a lower-priority development/test on a public cloud, but be able to manage both with a single pane of glass. 

One of the major concerns companies have is being locked into one cloud. The drudgery of recoding every single application and intense labor and long hours needed to migrate to a different cloud creates barriers around migrating between clouds. The new generation of cloud management platforms offers customers the ability to quickly switch applications over to a different cloud if the applications are not performing optimally. The power would be in companies’ hands to pick and choose which cloud is best at a moment’s notice. As a result, broader ranges of applications are freed from the demands of the cloud and instead clouds alter the way they provide their resources for applications. 

As more and more companies migrate to cloud, it is abundantly clear that cloud computing is very much here to stay. The old trials and difficulties of cloud migration are lifted by a new generation of tools aimed to take full advantage of the way corporate IT thinks about its application portfolio. The key to success will be for enterprises to seize this new way of thinking and reap the multifold benefits of the cloud. 

David Cope is EVP corporate development at CliQr Technologies. With more than 25 years’ executive leadership and marketing experience in fast-growth technology businesses, David is responsible for CliQr’s business development, strategic alliances, corporate strategy, brand management and integrated marketing communications. Previously, he held executive positions at companies including Purfresh, BizGenics, Extricity, Illustra and IBM. David has received numerous marketing and technology-related awards and is an inventor on multiple technology patents. Follow CliQr on Twitter at @Cliqrtech.