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There are many reasons customers choose to move to the cloud, but there are also a number of reasons customers are concerned about moving to the cloud. Back in 2019, we sponsored a number of VMware User Group meetings, and as a part of those meetings I conducted live polling to see which concerns were the most common, and used that to lead a discussion with the group.
For season 2 of The CloudBytes Podcast, I decided to dig deeper into these concerns with some of our industry’s best influencers. Keeping with the panel-of-three format, they discuss one concern per episode, giving their perspective on why customers have these concerns, what they should look for if they have these concerns, and how they can minimize their risks when adopting a cloud platform.
The conversations were, of course, quite insightful. My biggest surprise across all the conversations wasn’t how real each concern is, but how the advice shared by our panelists made them all so easy to address. This was probably most clear in the Loss of Control episode, where it became clear that giving up control of the lower levels of your infrastructure will give so much back to you and your business. We discussed the inherent availability, security, and compliance benefits a cloud platform can provide. Beyond those core competencies most cloud providers can provide, there was great advice on picking the right cloud platform for your performance and application readiness needs to ensure you get the best experience for your unique set of apps.
One consistent theme discussed across multiple episodes was that planning and picking the right partner were key activities for alleviating concerns when moving to the cloud. In general, it starts with understanding the business outcomes expected from adopting the cloud so you can pick the right platform you can trust and that will provide the proper level of support you’ll need. You’ll also want to spend some time understanding your current investments and the unresolved technical debt in your current environment. Finally, don’t take the migration plan lightly, because many cloud projects have died because of a poor on-boarding process.
Another multifaceted concern customers have is how costs will be dealt with in the cloud. Early on, cloud earned a bad reputation for charging customers for usage they either couldn’t understand or were much higher than expected. But these concerns are easily addressed by taking the time to understand the cost model and picking a provider that provides transparency and predictability so you can keep close tabs on your costs. At a more fundamental level, customers struggling with the move from up-front capital expenses to monthly operational expenses should find some good advice. Of course, all of this only matters if the return on investment works in the business’ favor, which we discovered really is complex, but not impossible.
The final theme across season 2 is the fact that cloud adoption is greater than just the IT department. Whether it be a heavier reliance on the Accounting team, closer collaboration with the business teams, or internal IT team information sharing, cloud changes the dynamics of team interactions. Ironically, we dove in depth into the importance of cross-team communications (the person-to-person type) in the Connectivity episode. The existing company culture can strongly predict the potential for success, but cloud adoption does have the potential to alter the company’s culture. It can also alter the day-to-day work of individual IT team members, but with the willingness to adjust employee skillsets, a wide-range of opportunities become available and ensure job security for the entire team.
As you can probably guess, all of the season 2 episodes are now available at https://cloudbytes.cloud. Whether you’re only interested in specific episodes or would rather binge-listen to all the episodes, we’ve released all episodes all at once. However, if you’re more interested in a weekly 30(ish) minute episode, you can subscribe via iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or any other podcast platform you already use and we’ll give you a new episode each Wednesday morning. Either way, each episode stands alone, so you can listen in any order.
It has been an immense pleasure coordinating and putting out these conversations for everyone to enjoy. There have been numerous people that have been involved, and it would take another whole blog post to thank them all, but I would in particular like to thank James Costanzo, Masele Ivey, and Kymberli Taylor for their behind-the-scenes efforts, and to iland, now 11:11 Systems, for making all of it possible. I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did.