Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Hovhannes Avoyan, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Article

Take Care To Mitigate Business Risks When Moving to the Cloud

Resisting change in an era of innovation is a risky choice; but watch out for how the cloud can undermine app performance

While the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise offers all sorts of benefits, too many organizations are forgetting about risks. Yes, the benefits of cloud computing are very real. I’m certainly not a cloud denier (and they, like Flat Earthers, do still exist), but one costly misstep as you move to the cloud could quickly eliminate all of those benefits you were hoping for.

I’m not talking about security risks. Those have been dissected almost as thoroughly as the cloud’s benefits. Rather, I’m talking about business risks. If you move a mission-critical application to the cloud, what happens if you don’t have enough available bandwidth to meet demand? What if your headquarters now must suffer with the poor performance that your branch office managers have been complaining about for years?

What if your Internet service provider’s network is compromised? The service provider will invariably tell you that redundancy and failover capabilities are built into their systems, but should you trust them?

Recently, two severed fiber optic cables in Sprint’s network grounded Alaska Airlines for much of a day. What are the chances that two different fiber optic cables in two completely different regions of the country accidentally get cut on the same day? The chances aren’t great, but they obviously were greater than zero.

The risks don’t have to be that severe, however. Access to critical applications is essential to knowledge workers. If your ERP, CRM or SFA application performs poorly because you’ve moved it to the cloud, what have you gained other than headaches?

Legacy apps drag down cloud efforts

Even as we’ve started the full-scale migration to a cloud-centric world, most applications aren’t ready. Most applications were not designed to reside away from your office, outside of your firewall and in the cloud. Even newer versions of software that has “cloud ready” slapped on it are often not cloud ready. Sure, the software can be hosted in a cloud environment, but can it perform at a high level in that environment?

Remember, cloud-based apps must now perform over the chaotic public Internet, rather than over your tightly controlled, high-throughput LAN. Latency, dropped packets and congestion can all seriously degrade app performance – routinely.

To overcome this problem, deep-pocketed organizations invest in expensive MPLS lines, WAN optimization equipment or CDNs. These solutions aren’t cheap. Remember all of that money you hoped to save when you moved to the cloud? How quickly it can evaporate.

If this has you thinking that you should just go back to the on-premise status quo, I have more bad news for you. It’s not going to be possible. Many software providers are moving to a services model, meaning you won’t be able to host your own versions even if you want to, and, meanwhile, organizations of all types are becoming more and more decentralized.

Outsourcing is no longer a trend, but a mundane reality. Telecommuting is on the rise. Even traditional office workers often work a day or two a week from home. The workforce is becoming more and more mobile. And newer businesses, in order to compete with incumbents, are avoiding the overhead of big office spaces, instead opting for small headquarters, smaller branch offices, and many mobile and work- from-home employees.

In other words, the cloud is shifting the cost center away from apps (which will be consumed on a pay- as-you-go model) to networks, which are consumed on an overprovisioning one.

Putting your head in the sand and hoping that the old ways will suffice will simply let more nimble competitors catch you, pass you, and pick your carcass clean during your bankruptcy.

The cloud may be the problem, but it’s also the solution

Fortunately, cloud computing is not a static innovation. If applications can be delivered as pay-as-you- go services, why can’t network services be delivered the same way? Why can’t you avoid purchasing expensive WAN optimization equipment or signing up for expensive CDN contracts, instead consuming each as needed?

The answer is simple: as in any other established space, the incumbents resist change. WAN optimization vendors make money off of that expensive equipment. MPLS providers want you to buy those expensive links. CDN providers thrive on those expensive contracts, which are all the more juicy when you under-utilize the services.

However, that doesn’t mean that change isn’t coming.

These services will move to the cloud – they already are starting to – and the incumbents know it. Many will even tell you that they are actively preparing for this new reality, but until they face enough competition from either startups or some underperforming incumbent needing to shake up their business model, the market leaders will be slow to move. It’s just the way these things work. After all, Saleforce.com, AWS, Dropbox and NetSuite weren’t overnight hits, and they faced serious skepticism on the road to success.

How to prepare for the future

In an economic climate as cut-throat as this one, where a startup in India could just as easily threaten you as one in Silicon Valley, it’s not enough to simply embrace change. The winners will help drive it.

If your cloud-based applications are underperforming, don’t believe the experts when they give you a limited list of options, all of them expensive, all of them more suited to yesterday’s technologies and work patterns. Network virtualization is happening. It took a while for server virtualization to mature and move out of the science-project phase. Now, every business under the sun understands the importance of server virtualization. Fortunately, the adoption phase for network virtualization should be much shorter. After all, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be the second group traveling over the Oregon Trail than the first.

So, the first thing you should do is simply not accept the status quo, and distrust anyone who tells you there is no other way.

Second, if vendors try to sell you expensive hardware or lock you into inflexible contracts, push back. Remind them that everything from expensive CRM suites to engineering testing and development has moved to the cloud.

Why haven’t application delivery services? Why haven’t network services? Why haven’t WAN optimization and CDN services?

Chances are the vendors you’ll work with already have these things on their roadmaps anyway. Why not force their hand?

Finally, negotiate for a win-win. In the end, embracing these new delivery models will not only be in your best interest, but in theirs too. After all, if they drag their feet and insist on stale business practices, you won’t be working with them for very long because they simply won’t be around to work with.

Resisting change in an era of innovation is the risky choice. It’s a cutthroat, winner-take-all economy we’re in, and those who are too risk-averse are actually the ones who end up courting risk. It’s a cruel irony, but your less risk-averse competitors won’t have much sympathy as they steal your market share.

More Stories By Ajit Gupta

Ajit Gupta is the Founder, President & CEO of Aryaka, the leading provider of WAN Optimization as-a-Service, Network as-a-Service and Application Delivery as-a-Service.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in t...
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists will discuss how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations m...
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provide...
ProfitBricks has launched its new DevOps Central and REST API, along with support for three multi-cloud libraries and a Python SDK. This, combined with its already existing SOAP API and its new RESTful API, moves ProfitBricks into a position to better serve the DevOps community and provide the ability to automate cloud infrastructure in a multi-cloud world. Following this momentum, ProfitBricks has also introduced several libraries that enable developers to use their favorite language to code ...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable o...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) ap...
How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-founder of Soha, will share five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the frict...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to off...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquir...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
SYS-CON Media announced today that John Treadway’s blog has exceeded 475,000 page views. John Treadway, Vice President at Cloud Technology Partners, has surpassed 475,000 page views on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, Microservices Journal, and several others. His blog home page at SYS-CON can be found at JohnTreadway.SYS-CON.com.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that the DevOps Institute has been named “Association Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The DevOps Institute provides enterprise level training and certification. Working with thought leaders from the DevOps community, the IT Service Management field and the IT training market, the DevOps Institute is setting the standard in quality for DevOps education and training.
DevOps tasked with driving success in the cloud need a solution to efficiently leverage multiple clouds while avoiding cloud lock-in. Flexiant today announces the commercial availability of Flexiant Concerto. With Flexiant Concerto, DevOps have cloud freedom to automate the build, deployment and operations of applications consistently across multiple clouds. Concerto is available through four disruptive pricing models aimed to deliver multi-cloud at a price point everyone can afford.
With IoT exploding, massive data will transform businesses with opportunities to monetize almost anything that can be measured. In this C-Level Roundtable Discussion at @ThingsExpo, Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, will lead an expert panel of consultants, thought leaders and practitioners who will look at these new monetization trends, discuss the implications, and detail lessons learned from their collective experience. Finally, the panel will point the way forw...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.