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Have cloud platforms failed?

According to Statista, 84 percent of companies in Germany now use cloud computing. At the same time, voices are being raised questioning the switch to the cloud.
Roland Münster, Natuvion
May 3, 2023
Cloud Computing
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Is the hype around the cloud over?

Increasing cybercrime and serious system failures, such as the temporary suspension of Lufthansa operations at Frankfurt Airport due to a destroyed fiber optic cable, have left many companies unsettled. So is the hype around the cloud over? Will companies return to old on-prem concepts? Not at all. But they are weighing more carefully when and how to use the opportunities offered by cloud technology. They are assessing very carefully when a cloud solution is needed, whether it will bring the desired competitive advantages and to what extent it will support the future viability of a company. 

The black-and-white thinking of recent years on the subject of the cloud is now mingling with more and more shades of gray. This is not least due to the fact that many companies have not approached the change to the cloud strategically enough. Often, existing on-prem solutions have merely been selectively replaced by cloud platforms. But that alone is not enough, because it leads to a fragmented IT landscape that is different, but not necessarily better. Ergo: The change to the cloud must be strategically designed and holistically implemented. 

It is important that companies are aware from the outset that cloud computing involves more than just an IT strategy. Rather, it is a matter of transferring the skills and knowledge of the specialist departments from business and IT into an equal concept. The appropriate know-how is essential for this, because software developers and architects have to deal with many more topics (integration, security, DevOps), especially in the cloud environment, than is the case with classic development. Nevertheless, the cloud strategy should come first, because it will always play an important role in the future. At the same time, however, on-prem concepts should not be demonized when management and IT leadership discuss future plans. The prerequisite for future success with the cloud is that a fundamental analysis of the existing structure and, above all, the existing data is carried out.

This raises questions about existing processes that can be optimized when moving to the cloud. A decision must be made as to whether all data really needs to be moved to the cloud or whether it might not make sense to clean out the data in advance. In addition, compliance issues play an important role in an integrated cloud strategy. It is conceivable that despite the technical or economic advantages of the cloud, sensitive data will have to remain in the company for compliance reasons. Looking to the future, those responsible should also differentiate between the "must-haves" and the "nice-to-haves" and consciously weigh up when cloud technology is advantageous and when the classic on-premise installations are. An honest analysis of strengths and weaknesses is recommended, which should focus above all on considerations about the integration strength of the strategy.

With a view to the strategic orientation of a company, it is important on the one hand to preserve the tried and tested and on the other hand to realign digitally. One thing is clear: a cloud strategy does not automatically mean moving everything to the cloud. On the contrary. An "all-in principle" often overburdens management and IT executives and prevents the development of a consistent and long-term strategy. However, if a company pushes ahead with cloud adoption without a strategy, this will lead to resistance, slowing down or even jeopardizing the move to the cloud.

A cloud strategy is therefore not synonymous with moving everything to the cloud. Instead, companies should keep an open mind and, if necessary, also exchange ideas with experts who have a comprehensive view and can provide helpful impetus based on their expertise. Seen in this light, on-prem platforms still have a realistic chance in the future.

Roland Münster, Natuvion

Roland Münster is Senior Architect Cloud Products at Natuvion

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