The case for keeping "no cloud" advocates around

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

There seems to be a culture shift wherein those who don’t aggressively push cloud computing are not working with the culture and hype—and are therefore working against it. Why is this a bad thing?

August 23, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Some people who push back on cloud computing, now or in past years, have been demoted, pushed out of the inner circles of corporate IT, or have lost their jobs. Why? Their arguments against cloud computing often were and still are unfounded arguments against changes to the more familiar status quo. Now there seems to be a culture shift wherein those who don’t aggressively push cloud computing are not working with the culture and hype, and are therefore working against it—which often means they can be ignored or worse.

This is a 180-degree turn as of just five years ago. I was pushed out of meetings simply because I was considered a cloud computing subject matter expert (i.e., a 'pro cloud' guy), and some enterprises wanted none of that. They had knee-jerk reactions to the very idea of leveraging cloud computing. Discussions about the enterprise’s opportunities in the cloud never really took place.

These days it’s a different story. The Global 2000 have all found cloud computing "religion," to the point that any dissenting opinions may now be shunned. It’s caused some CIOs to be pushed out the door, leadership to shuffle around, and for those who think “no cloud” to be deemed politically incorrect.

My take? This is just as bad, if not worse, than the cloud pushback I saw five years ago. It’s always a good practice to have a balanced set of opinions to test ideas and call out limitations that need to be addressed.

I get the urge to push out those who are overly negative, who don’t understand reality. However, those who have a "no cloud" opinion just might have a point, if you listen. Cloud computing is not always the way to go for all of enterprise IT. It’s actually helpful to have people around who don’t have a Pavlovian response to the hype.

The reality is that hype can cloud peoples’ view. Enterprise architecture, which includes cloud architecture, demands a balanced and objective view of your “as is” state and how best to move to an optimal “to be." This means looking at all technology, cloud and not.

My advice here is pretty simple. Foster a culture where those who push back on cloud computing are allowed to have an opinion. At the end of the day, this is a balancing act between requirements and technology, and all views should be welcome. You heard that from a cloud computing subject matter expert.

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