Public cloud is a good thing only when an appropriate strategy is applied to leverage it to the benefit of the business. While is can be less expensive for some workloads, it can be more expensive for others — without a thoughtful, strategic approach, it can destroy value rather than create it. In other words, “Public cloud doesn’t fix stupid.”
That’s the conclusion drawn by Jason Anderson, chief architect at Datalink, a cloud services provider in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, based on the findings of a recent IT optimization survey of U.S. IT executives that was commissioned by Datalink. In a recent interview, Anderson discussed the survey, and what Datalink gleaned from it, at some length. I asked him if the survey results prompted Datalink to change anything it had been doing in order to better serve its customers. He said the company has, in fact, changed its focus:
What we had been talking to customers about for quite a while was that they need to get a handle on their cloud strategy, and make sure that if you’re an IT executive, you want to be at the center of the cloud conversation, and be a broker of IT services. That had been our message. It’s not that we think that that is wrong, or was wrong. But what we learned from the survey was that a lot of IT executives get that message already, so we really don’t have to pound on that. Instead, we need to get them better armed with the how to do that. So we shifted our focus to really saying, “OK, the how is to focus on your workloads, and embrace the fact that you’re going to have multiple platforms.” What was clarified for us in the survey was that we really need to take a very workload-focused view of the world. Know going into it that, except for some very small organizations, or ones that are so specialized they only have a handful of applications, they’re going to have multiple platforms, and that both on-prem[ises] and public cloud are going to be a part of the mix.