“There is no cloud, it is just someone else’s computer” goes a meme that holds a powerful truth but very simply put. The cloud has been with us since the birth of the client server model of computing that is best experienced on the internet. With such a long history it is a surprise that we do not see a steeper adoption curve in the enterprise segment, of the new flavor of cloud offerings. There are four main reasons many CTO’s and CIOs give for lack of adoption despite knowledge that it may hold the key to innovation, service differentiation and a sharper competitive edge.
- Sunk investments in in-house data center operations have executives gagged in the boardroom, unable to make a case for additional investments to move to different infrastructure. The answer to this predicament is the hybrid cloud that provides a solution mix from public cloud providers such as Node Africa, Kili or Angani locally and in-house infrastructure.
- Security concerns make the list, but here again it is a matter of misconceptions and the adoption of security by obscurity where executives feel that behind closed doors and access control, their systems and data remain safe. The truth is that the focus by certified cloud providers means that they think about security round the clock with patches, upgrades and mitigation done on the fly. Most providers also share data meaning that endemic threats are dealt with before they go viral.
- Linked to the issue of committed capital is that of month on month operational expenditure where the fixed cost model of an in-house data center has more supporters. When dissected it will be discovered that the cloud offers better return on investment hedged on a more predictable and lower total cost of ownership. The ability to scale on demand with metered usage based pricing is bound to endear the CTO and CTO to the CFO.
- Data generated from enterprise resource planning tools, customer relationship management systems, payment gateways, sensor systems, e-commerce platforms et cetera is business gold and where it sits and how is accessed always presents interesting board room discussions. Two ways to handle this issue are; first through informed legislation especially in the local context where privacy laws around personally identifiable information, or sensitive personal information are yet to be passed and second is using a managed private cloud.
The catalyst to wide spread adoption however lies in c-suite and boardroom level education as often times the call is made there on whether or not to adopt recommendations. The time is about right too as a study by IBM’s Institute of Business Value that reached over 5,000 c-suite executives with 700 from Africa confirms that many know that disruption of their industries is eminent and are open to exploring interventions that will keep them competitive.
Smart adoption of the various flavors of cloud offerings, makes the top of my recommendations list.