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Moving to the cloud – Do you have a choice?

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Everyone wants to look out for their own self-interest and move in that direction. This time the clear direction is the public cloud.

November 2, 2018

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

According to research from Recode, out of tech companies that lead R&D spending, four of the top five are also vendors of public clouds1. While this is no surprise given today’s focus on cloud computing, it does bring up an interesting question: Do we have a choice to move to the cloud or not, given that most R&D dollars, and thus most innovations, are focused on cloud?

This is a phenomenon we’ve seen before. First came the rise of the PC in the 1980s and the rise of client/server in the 1990s, followed by the rise of the Web. Innovation moves toward new trends. This trend affects the larger tech companies and larger cloud companies, as well as the hundreds of satellite enterprise software players that may be small, medium, or large. All are beholden to investors, and all play with a limited pot of money.

This doesn’t happen because they want to neglect existing platforms, but because the momentum seems to go in one direction. Everyone wants to look out for their own self-interest and move in that direction. This time the clear direction is the public cloud. Looking at the patterns of innovation, that’s where the money gets spent these days.

This trend pushes many customers into a “forced march” of sorts, given that a customer’s traditional platforms are no longer a priority for the enterprise software suppliers. Considering that on-premises platforms could eventually lack necessary support, enterprises must choose to remain with the dying or walk with the living.

Take security for instance. Security in the cloud is advancing well past the security of most traditional on-premises systems. Why? Today, security companies tend to spend the most dollars on the cloud versions of their security systems. If you’re in the market for good security, then cloud is likely the best place to look. Not on the cloud? Perhaps it’s time to move there.

What enterprises should be concerned with is the tendency to let a technology provider determine their strategic use of any new technology, including cloud computing. They are not the owner of your requirements, you are. This is a bit scary considering that you could end up moving too fast to the cloud and make some major mistakes.

Be selfish and be careful about chasing these types of offerings. You need to protect the needs of your business first and foremost. Take the path and trends of technology into consideration. However, for the most part, they should not direct your IT strategy.

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