A pragmatic approach to the post-pandemic run on cloud computing

It’s no secret that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has spurred increased cloud spending, and we’re starting to see the data. Most recent is a survey by Flexera of 750 executives, where more than half (59 percent) said their cloud usage will be leveraged more than planned before the pandemic.

I always take these survey reports with a grain of salt considering that the vendors that sponsor them typically have a dog in the hunt. However, from this data, along with recent sales and usage data of cloud providers and technology in the cloud orbit, it’s clearly much more than a trend.

My caution to those enterprises hitting the cloud computing accelerator pedal: A bit of pragmatic planning needs to occur along with the quick rush to cloud-based services. The most important areas of focus are security, governance, cloudops, databases, and cloud-based development technology.

You need a handle on all five of these before you start pushing more applications and data into the hyperscalers or MSPs (managed services providers). Moreover, if you currently don’t have a good grasp on these issues now, it must be done prior to additional migration.

Pragmatism is often the first casualty of panic. I’m seeing enterprises that have made little or no progress toward the use of cloud-based resources over the last few years, and are still suspicious of security and compliance issues. Suddenly, they declare that they are “all in” with cloud computing and direct an army of IT staffers to move workloads and data over to public clouds ASAP. 

As a cloud computing advocate, I agree these are steps in the right direction. However, as an architect, I worry about the shift in risk from not doing enough to leverage cloud computing to moving too fast and thus raising the risk of making strategic mistakes. One is just as bad as the other. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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