In an increasingly commoditized market, learn how to cut through the noise and forge a cloud strategy that meets your needs
Only a few years ago, organizations were wrestling with just one question about their cloud strategy – “do we
move to the cloud or don’t we?”. But today, with the proliferation of cloud adoption, those same organizations
have shifted their questioning to:
- “Which cloud should we choose?”
- “What’s the best fit strategically?”, and;
- “What should we consider beyond features and price as we make that decision?”
The last question is particularly pertinent. While Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are now
positioned as leaders in Gartner’s IaaS Magic Quadrant – it’s getting harder and harder to find a technical
deficit between the two.
In the past, comparisons could be drawn based on solution capabilities and cost. Today, however, the technical
capabilities and total cost of ownership of both services have reached parity, with Azure price-matching AWS for
commodity services such as compute, storage, and bandwidth.
To further complicate matters, Google is waiting in the wings. Currently residing in Gartner’s “Visionaries”
corner, Google is positioned to make the leap into the “Leaders” space which will likely muddy the
decision-making process even further.
Choosing Cloud: The Rule-of-Thumb Approach to Buying IT Doesn’t Cut It
If you’re contemplating a cloud strategy, where do you start?
For several years the rule-of-thumb approach to buying cloud has relied on several input factors.
First, there was the past experience of others: “My friend, a CTO, had a terrible experience with XYZ a few
years ago, so I won’t consider that provider.” Then there are the sales strategists on all sides seeking to
influence buying decisions with numbers and case studies. But, perhaps the most decisive influencing factor was
the technical expertise of the IT team: “My developers work in [language], so we need to choose a cloud
provider that supports that language.”
All common sense approaches. Unfortunately, in a dynamic cloud market where each vendor has its own sweet spot
and technology innovation is constantly evolving, organizations that are preparing for cloud migration need to
do a little more homework. Anecdotal experience, sales slicks, and a predilection for a particular technology
stack doesn’t cut it anymore.
It’s time to bring a more holistic approach to choosing the best cloud platform to serve your organization’s
needs. Of particular consideration is the fact that choosing a cloud provider is no longer an either/or
question. Ubiquitous adoption of the cloud raises a new set of needs:
- Ensuring a cross-cloud disaster recovery strategy.
- Mitigation of vendor lock-in.
- Achieving a multi-cloud setup that delivers a cloud solution that best fits your business case.
These are complex requirements that the rule-of-thumb process doesn’t appease. To understand why, let’s take a
look at a universal set of factors and how these influence the decision to go with one cloud provider over
Today’s Cloud Strategy Decision-Making Process (and Pitfalls)
While each organization has differing drivers for cloud adoption, we’ve observed a common landscape that steers
the cloud strategy of any business. This landscape (as represented by the Venn diagram below) comprises the
organization’s business drivers, internal technical expertise, and the technical capabilities of the cloud