Cloud Computing: the importance of a generalized definition
Of course, many projects have failed. Often due to the lack of a business case, but also to a lack of vision or follow-through. Or due to misunderstandings and claims like 'Having virtualised the essential parts of the servers is the same as using the cloud'... In short, 'cloud washing' is a reality: on one hand, we have blissful technophilia; on the other hand, proud conservatism...
'Everyone has their own definition of cloud computing! If you ask ten companies, you will have ten explanations, ten different statements...Which is not at all useful for the market! Fortunately, there is a converging trend towards a standardised definition', notes Gartner. As a worldwide leader in consulting and research, Gartner looks at taboos and demystifies the cloud in its webinar 'The Top 10 Cloud Myths'.
Cloud computing: an overview by gartner
In its 'Hype-Cycle', Gartner sees IaaS cloud computing at the end of a period of disillusionment. That is good news, because it proves that the technology is mature. Whichever approach may have been chosen - launching a massive transformation plan with a migration of existing applications or, alternatively, using cloud platforms only for new projects and letting their usage scope grow gradually - the early adopters are now in a much more comfortable position than they were in two years ago. The productivity gains, even though they took longer than expected, are finally here. 'Through our work, we can demonstrate the efficiency and profitability of cloud computing today and remove the remaining security concerns, adds Jean-François Hugon. While we position ourselves as the European specialist in the management of sensitive information, we can demonstrate the relevance of our solutions within our Trusted Cloud Europe: business alignment, standardisation and flexibility are now among the main benefits of such an approach; they go far beyond a direct financial gain and reposition IT at the heart of the business strategy.'
Gartner's vision coincides with that of EBRC. For several years the two companies have now been collaborating to decrypt market expectations, identify trends in the making, structure and benchmark the offers. For us, this is the surest way to aim accurately, to quickly respond to our clients' expectations and even to anticipate them!
Cloud Computing advantage: 5 benefits to migrate
1ST advantage: Cloud reduces cost
One of the main advantages of the cloud lies in its multiple deployment models, the most common are the private, public, hybrid or community models. Unlike physical storage units, the Cloud allows a high flexibility and scalability for your business.
Depending on your sectors, activities or type of data, you can deploy your cloud storage solution according to your requirements. May your business grow in a pay-as-you-grow mode.
2nd advantage: Cloud improve agility
Agility enables to be reactive and even proactive. And in our economy, this is a tremendous asset you can use to outrun your competitors, and to gain market share’.
Yes, the cloud is about money. But indirectly: 'the cloud brings you a level of quality and safety which is in most cases much higher than what a single company could claim to achieve with its own standalone infrastructure!'
3RD advantage: Cloud Computing for enhanced security
Often, the cloud is perceived as less secure. This is an unfounded misconception. Indeed, unfortunate security flaws in the public cloud have tarnished its image. But it would be unfortunate to draw hasty conclusions... ‘At EBRC, we defined our Trusted Cloud Europe in 2011, allowing us to manage sensitive information and support critical applications. This specificity serves a demanding market that wants to combine the benefits of the cloud with high-level safety requirements. Our contract specification includes requirements and criteria specific to the expectations of our ecosystem, which is unique in Europe and attracts the most demanding clients, reports Jean-François Hugon. As a specialist in the management of sensitive information, we know from experience that the security level of our Trusted Cloud Europe is natively much higher than on-site infrastructure; our clients are fully aware of this and we offer strong guarantees! '
4TH advantage: the Cloud for "Mission-Critical" uses
At its beginnings, the cloud was adopted for specific uses that were not 'mission-critical'. Today, in all markets, we approach 30% of critical data, according to Gartner. Companies like Netflix, for example, operate fully in the cloud. They are essentially wholly 'mission-critical'. 'At EBRC, we estimate that 80% of workloads in our Trusted Cloud Europe are 'mission-critical', adds Jean-François Hugon. And that is without including businesses born in the cloud, which naturally execute their business entirely in the cloud without any concerns!'
5th advantage: Cloud computing a diverse and varied ecosystem to align with your business goal
There is no single cloud, there are several clouds. It is a diverse and varied ecosystem. In general, cloud computing is not something one-dimensional and set in stone; it has to be considered in all its diversity. It is this diversity that creates its wealth. Cloud services come in different levels (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS), models, scopes and applications. 'Rather than seeking to standardise around a single offer or strategy, a cloud strategy has to align with the goals of the business and the expected benefits, says Gartner.
Myths that confuse, restrict innovation and slow the adoption of cloud computing
Despite the increasing cloud computing adoption, myths remain. Gartner, consulting and research leader looks at taboos and myths around the cloud.
Myth 1: To be good, be in the cloud
Gartner analysts largely equate this vision to 'cloud washing'. In practice, it results in the presence of the cloud in all kinds of projects and strategies ... to the point where it could suggest that for something to be good, it has to be in the cloud! The placebo effect of the cloud as a universal treatment for all the ailments of a company has its limits, says Jean-François Hugon. Specifically, putting everything into the cloud means nothing. First, think about your business and the way you run it today, the best way to do so... and then decide!'
Myth 2: The cloud should be used for everything
This myth stems from the preceding one, a vision of the cloud as a one-size-fits-all. In reality, even if the cloud can be necessary in many cases, not all applications and not all workloads benefit from it. The cloud's ability to cut costs should be the focus. If it is not proven to apply to a legacy application, there is no reason to migrate to the cloud. 'Not everything has to be moved to the cloud, far from it. Focus on your analysis, and on your strategy; do not force anything, proceed step-by-step. '
Myth 3: 'The boss said' is a cloud strategy
Gartner analysts have found that many businesses do not have a cloud strategy, or at the very least that it simply boils down to the preference of the CEO. Which is not a strategy! A cloud strategy begins with identifying business objectives, and mapping the potential benefits and drawbacks. 'The cloud should be thought of as a means to an end ... that has been clearly specified, explains Jean-François Hugon. Again, not everything can be migrated to the cloud!'
Myth 4: Cloud = Data Centre
A cloud strategy does not necessarily imply a data centre strategy, and it does not require fully embracing data centres for the migration into the cloud. Even if many applications and workloads can migrate to the cloud, it is not true for all applications and all workloads. As for the modernisation or outsourcing of a data centre, these terms are not synonymous with the cloud. 'Mix and match! Proceed in separate stages, at your own pace. There is a clear trend towards 'hybridisation', underlines Jean-François Hugon.
Myth 5: Migrating to the cloud means that the characteristics of the cloud are automatically acquired
The cloud’s attributes are not transitive. An application 'hosted in the cloud' is not a cloud service... The results are not the same. As for the characteristics of the cloud, they are not inherited automatically, especially if an application is placed at the lowest level, SaaS! 'Don’t think that it is sufficient to migrate to the cloud. The transition requires a transformation project. Identify the benefits, the expected benefits. Above all, accept to rethink your processes. In short, it's not enough to use the cloud as an add-on!'
Myth 6: Virtualisation = private cloud
Even if virtualisation is commonly related to the technologies of cloud computing, it is only a component of the functional richness of the cloud. Using virtualisation is not synonymous with using the cloud. 'Think beyond the virtualisation phase, aim at a digital transformation, suggests Jean-François Hugon. Our clients often begin with a PoC (Proof of Concept), which is enough to convince them. Test, experiment. We invite all our clients to do that! '