To listen to some pundits, one would think that everyone has shut down their data centers and moved everything into the cloud and then headed home for the evening. However, nothing could be further from the truth. While cloud providers are desperate to get into the enterprise space, on-premises services remain in place and relevant for a variety of reasons.
The cloud is still simply not trusted by many who still consider it as passing fad. With some new technologies, this would be the case, but the cloud is here to stay. That mindset is one hindrance that many will see as they undertake cloud efforts. On a related note, many IT staffers still see the cloud as a threat to their very existence. To a point, this worry is real, but in the IT department of the future, technical skills will still be required, but at a different level. Instead of focusing on keeping things working – that will be the job of the cloud provider – IT staff will work on automation and improvement in an effort to expand business value.
There is also high risk of vendor lock-in when it comes to public cloud services. Different services don’t always enable easy migration from one to another. That’s why is seems like private and hybrid clouds seem to be more likely candidates for the future, with private clouds being built on today’s hypervisors. Hybrid cloud services – such as the ones being provided by VMware and Microsoft – are natural extensions of these private data centers. At best over the next few years, some organizations will adopt these hybrid services and begin shifting workloads between their on premises data centers and hybrid providers.
While I do believe that cloud is here to stay, I think it’s going to take a while for adoption to be strong. The hype is there and we’re moving into a reality phase of the technology, but as cloud is a serious paradigm shift in the world of IT, I prefect that the transition will take quite some time.