Last week, Gartner released a report with a title that made me pause: By 2020, a corporate "no-cloud" policy will be as rare as a "no-internet" policy is today
It made me wonder, do companies still have no-cloud policies today?
It's a question I posed on Twitter. Most of the responses were like this one from David Bray, who is CIO at the FCC, a federal agency mind you, who is quite forward-thinking when it comes to implementing cloud solutions:
No-Cloud doesn't make sense in my opinion, it's fundamental to how we work now.— David A. Bray (@fcc_cio) July 1, 2016
We've adopted 12+ cloud services in last 24 months, improves our org agility— David A. Bray (@fcc_cio) July 1, 2016
So apparently, the man leading a government agency understands the advantages of the cloud better than some private-sector executives.
Just today, I received a tweet from a sales guy at Acquia, a cloud content management vendor, and he said he regularly encounters no-cloud policies:
Such an attitude amazes me in 2016, and I wonder how any company at this point in the evolution of cloud technology could survive long-term with this type of attitude.
@ron_miller I talk to customers every day that say “we don’t do cloud and won’t ever do"— Jakub Suchy (@jakubsuchy) July 6, 2016
My feeling is that cloud usage is probably going on all over these so-called 'no-cloud' companies, unless they also have a no-internet policy, a recipe for corporate hara-kari if I've ever seen one.
But don't just take my word for it. Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann sees it in similarly stark terms — that not many companies with a no-cloud policy are going to be able to compete moving forward.
"Aside from the fact that many organizations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable," Mann said in a statement.
How about cloud-first instead?
In fact, he sees most companies moving toward the opposite — "cloud-first" whenever possible. "Cloud will increasingly be the default option for software deployment. The same is true for custom software, which increasingly is designed for some variation of public or private cloud," he said.
What does that mean for organizaitons that rigidly reject the cloud? They are increasingly vulnerable to competitive pressures on a number of fronts. It's not that there's anything necessarily wrong with on-prem software, but the life cycle is problematic.
They take a long time to buy and implement. They often require a high level of customization, and if you make any changes — if it's even possible to do so — you're probably going to break the customizations.
The end result is your employees are stuck with old software, which is often difficult to use and inflexible, while your competitors using cloud software can access their tools on any device, anywhere, any time — and have access to the latest updates on a regular basis — sometimes as often as daily.
Meanwhile, many of these companies will be lowering their overhead costs by closing or greatly reducing their on-premises data centers as they increasingly move workloads to the cloud.
All of these factors combined mean any company simply dismissing the cloud out of hand is going to be at a gross disadvantage
At some point, I'm hoping we will stop talking about the cloud as a thing, and it will just be the way we compute. That means that those companies still giving the cloud short shrift are going to be left in the dust.
Photo Credit: Alexander Annenkov on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 license.