Cloud Services

The Cloud Repatriation Myth: Why Cloud Isn’t Going Anywhere

5 Jun 2019 10:44am, by

Grant Kirkwood
A serial entrepreneur by trade with over 21 years of experience, Grant is a technologist at heart. Prior to founding Unitas Global, he served as the CTO at PacketExchange, a London-based global telecommunications firm. Grant was also the founder and CEO of Mzima Networks, an internet service provider that grew to over 40 points of presence around the world, and the CTO of Netixs, a managed hosting service provider.

While there have been whispers of enterprises backpedaling cloud migrations and returning to on-premise strategies — a phenomenon termed “cloud repatriation” — the rumor actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to new Gartner research released last month, the worldwide public cloud service market will grow from $182.4 billion in 2018 to $331.2 billion by 2022.

Rather than abandoning cloud infrastructures altogether, many enterprises are stepping back to examine their workloads stored in public cloud and, at most, repatriating 5 to 10% of their workloads. Often, this is only temporary, as enterprises reconfigure applications to function better in the cloud.

While cloud adoption is not slowing down, enterprises should rethink how they make the transition. The need to take a step back and reconfigure applications is often a result of companies rushing into a cloud infrastructure without taking the time to plan out the applications and workloads that will be essential for them. So, this begs the question, is it time to stop talking about cloud repatriation and start discussing more effective ways to transition to a cloud infrastructure?

Digging into the Myth

Enterprises are not turning their backs on the cloud, but if they’re taking pause, what are their reasons for doing so?

Cost and access to IT talent are common culprits, as the needs for both frequently demand more resources than an on-premise IT strategy. However, IT leaders approaching cloud migration should focus on long-term benefits over short term expenditure. Yes, upfront costs may cause sticker shock, but in the long-term, they’ll pay dividends.

With the right help, organizations should be able to manage those aspects while also taking advantage of the benefits that cloud can offer, especially as we move into an age of interoperability — where multiple data sets must filter into different cloud-based tools in order to produce needed insights.

It’s unclear how many organizations are “repatriating” or taking a step back on their cloud operations. But the answer to common cloud struggles isn’t to regress to an on-premise strategy — it’s to meet those challenges with a partner that understands their needs.

Nailing Cloud Migration the First Time

Getting the most out of a cloud strategy comes down to the migration.

Defining a cloud model should be a one-time event, which is why it makes the most sense to work with a partner — an expert that goes through the process over and over again, who knows what to expect, and understands how to get your enterprise exactly what it wants.

Defining a cloud model is an extremely technical task. For a task this permanent, I recommend seeking guidance from an expert. At the same time, many enterprises face an urgent need to move workloads to the cloud as they seek to compete against their digitally transforming competitors. Rather than undoing mistakes and moving off the cloud, enterprises should connect with a third-party expert to help them get it right in the cloud.

To illustrate the benefits a hybrid cloud strategy can bring, let’s consider a scenario. A large public university is looking to make better use of its unstructured data to understand what drives student retention. It has a high volume of data on it students — what financial aid each student received, their major, whether or not they live on campus, and more — but that data is dispersed across the university’s data storage.

The university wants to channel that data into actionable insights so it can drive student retention and become more competitive with similar schools. But without proper expertise in unifying all that data, the university would expend effort and time without achieving a sustainable strategy.

However, a managed service partner can step in to help the university get set up with the right cloud providers and connect its on-premise data to drive rich insights, updated in real-time.

Cloud offers many long-term benefits, but some firms let elements like upfront cost and technical needs keep them from growing and innovating. By partnering with a third-party cloud expert, organizations can make sure they get their cloud migration right on the first try and define a sustainable, affordable strategy to support their ambitious business goals.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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