Bronchitis. I catch it a lot. Rotten experience. It's like an invisible elephant is sitting on your chest. And the drugs are mind-numbing. Got it now. Shivering under a blanket in 90 degree weather. But, it'll pass. And, in the meantime, if I write something weird...well, let's blame it on the drugs, OK?
Had a chat with a dear old friend this week. Middle-manager for a Fortune 500 corporation. Big Oracle customer. Lots of excitement brewing in his neck of the woods over all the money they'll save moving to "the cloud". I thought it would be interesting to explore this further, so we did some very rough calculations on the back of a napkin. Over the long run, those savings went out the window. Have to admit, I knew how the conversation would turn out. And I didn't mean to rain on his parade. Blame it on the drugs.
Big companies don't move to the cloud for long-term savings. They move to increase agility in the face of rapidly-changing markets. They move in order to refocus internal resources on profit centers rather than cost centers. They move in order to complement existing systems without causing huge operational upset. Smaller companies also move to cloud because the financial barriers to entry are lower - less of an upfront cost to get the same tools the big enterprises are using. But long-term dollar-for-dollar savings...yeah, those numbers don't seem to play out.
So we wrapped up the conversation on cost savings with the tried-and-true "well, they've already made the decision that it will save us money, so we're moving ahead." So I let that slide and we moved on to his excitement in learning something new (this will be his first cloud project). So I asked the question: "What kind of cloud? Private, hosted, SaaS, hybrid...what are ya'all doing?"
Crickets. Nothing. Silence. Now, I didn't mean to throw the guy another curveball. I mean, he's my friend. Compassion has to play in here somewhere, right? But it happened. Silence...maybe with a little edge of frustration. Sorry. Blame it on the drugs.
I get a little nervous when customers announce a commitment to "going to the cloud" without really understanding the benefits they can expect or how they plan to achieve those benefits. It's putting the cart before the horse and wondering why things don't move forward. Just makes no sense to me.
Don't get me wrong. I think many enterprises have much to gain from considering a cloud approach for their enterprise IT. I just think they should understand the basic concepts and know why they're taking the leap before they jump. Different enterprises will come to different conclusions.
But I see it more and more as time goes by...people buying into the hype without really knowing why. Then again, maybe it's my perspective that's off? If so, blame it on the drugs.