The Cloud Haters Club

15 March 2017 | By John Merryman

It's like an art form.

The cloud resistance in large IT organizations parallels the wildly inappropriate but entertaining Dave Chappell skit from 2005. Routinely we see organizations torn between cloud adoption and staunch organizational preference to retain enterprise compute footprints on premises. You can typically draw a line through organizational backing for public cloud, in particular between application development and infrastructure teams who have yet to converge practices and methods into DevOps style compute management. Moving to the cloud creates disruption, and for anyone associated introduces a shift in approach and technical focus. 

Here is some broad perspective on the cloud market for the 'cloud haters' from a relatively independent perspective:

Application Teams - Developers are likely to up skill and adopt faster than infrastructure teams, given the low cost access to deep technical training online from vendors and third parties (https://acloud.guru/ with Ryan Kroonenburg being a fine example). This paired with low to no cost of entry to apply this knowledge has resulted in accelerated uptake and adoption of public cloud in developer communities.

Interdependency- Coming to a data center near you. Based on the recent AWS S3 outage, few businesses worldwide were not impacted, as the cascading effects rattled through a number of SaaS, PaaS, and web provider services. Few organizations today have no linkage or dependency on public cloud services. While availability is subject to your design, troubleshooting and remediation will still lie in the customer domain.

Competition - A growing number of people in traditional business and leadership roles have cracked through the entry-level architect and developer AWS exams- as a sheer requirement of knowledge required to interact credibly in the field. This is an indicator of not only dollar-based competition for skilled resources, but also the overall bar for knowledge rising with public cloud uptake.

Managed Services - Cloud Managed Services, including those from large MSP providers and even primary cloud Service Providers are beginning to drive down the value of equivalent on premise operations and operators: commoditizing both the infrastructure stack and it's operational management.

Cloud Centers of Excellence - The majority of global systems integrators (a leading indicator of where the customer dollars will be spent) are leading massive up skilling efforts around both AWS and Azure.

Technical Relevancy - Given a massive pullback in cloud R&D and investment from the traditional Tier-1 operators (HPE, Dell/EMC, Cisco, etc), the majority of investment and growth is now centered within Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.

In Summary: Sharpen your Cloud Hater arguments, but don't forget to invest in skills and knowledge to keep pace with the massive changes in the technical landscape as you know it.