Why Fear of Missing Out on Cloud Should Not Be Your Biggest Fear

Posted 12/05/2017 by Darren Yablonski

In the not-so-distant past, Canada’s cloud adoption has lagged compared to its southerly neighbor. On this side of the border, data sovereignty was the core reason for this delay given stringent data regulations in terms of what, where and how data can be stored. Recently, the embracing of cloud-based solutions has started to significantly ramp up, given the introduction of cloud data centers and managed services organizations across Canada. However, Canada still continues to play catch-up with cloud adoption in comparison to the U.S.

That has some IT leaders worried. A recent survey by Commvault and CITO Research titled “2017 Executive Cloud Survey: What IT Leaders are Worried About” found eight out of 10 IT leaders were either “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about missing out on cloud advancements, while only 6 percent said they weren’t. So if they’re so worried about missing out, what are IT leaders doing about it before the cloud ship has sailed?

What’s worse than missing out on the cloud is miscalculating the cost of migration to and running workloads in the cloud. Even a company as large as Snapchat recently admitted its cloud costs would be higher than its revenue in 2016. While it’s safe to say most companies aren’t spending more than $1 billion a year on cloud and web services combined, many businesses don’t realize how quickly costs can accumulate when moving data in and out of the cloud.

So where should businesses start in this race if they want to finish ahead and remain profitable?

Staying ahead of the Joneses

As my colleague Dan Foster wrote in his blog post on the cloud survey, keeping up with the cloud is seen by C-level and IT leaders as a vital part of advancing the digital transformation strategies CEOs are demanding. While 93 percent of surveyed IT leaders said they are moving processes to the cloud, only 37 percent have identified their ideal footprint and begun migration.

While the survey was conducted in the U.S., some of the findings also ring true for Canadian businesses. One similarity to the Canadian market is cost savings. The survey found the No. 2 reason for moving to the cloud was cost savings. However, Canadian organizations in many cases need to have a better understanding of how they plan to derive more value from their data. This will enable them to make the best decision for their cloud migration strategy – understanding that there’s usually not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Otherwise, they could get hit with costly bills for moving data to and from of the cloud.

Understand your data

The majority of U.S. respondents are well on their way with cloud migration plans, with most either planning to 100 percent move to the cloud or describing themselves as a “cloud-first organization."

However, understanding their data is a problem for our U.S. counterparts as well.

The survey found top barriers to cloud migration include the sheer amount of data that is planned to move, consistent policies and a shortage of people to manage cloud projects. Before moving to the cloud, businesses need to realize new ways to make their data a powerful strategic asset by providing insights that align to their businesses. They also need to look at how they gather, retain and utilize data.

To help address this, it’s important that customers and prospects consult with data management experts, like Commvault, to help educate them to become experts with their data. Like businesses in the U.S., many Canadian companies want to invest in cloud technologies but don’t know where to start. The survey found 87 percent of respondents planned on increasing their cloud budget within the next year, while only 4 percent plan on spending less.

The end result, if planned correctly, is improved efficiency, cost optimization and maximizing the value of their data, which must align with an organizations strategic business objectives.

Perhaps an even more significant concern for many businesses when it comes to the cloud is not FOMO or cost, but rather security. This still remains a key issue – safety of data in the cloud – especially for industries that are heavily regulated such as finance or healthcare. In the next blog post, we’ll take a closer look at data and how companies can ensure data is properly protected in the cloud.

For the full details of the report from Commvault and CITO Research, see "2017 Executive Cloud Survey: What IT Leaders Are Worried About."

Darren Yablonski is the Director of Systems Engineering for Commvault Canada with more than 20 years of experience within various IT engineering, sales, professional services and program delivery functions. His passion is leading people and transforming organizations through a comprehensive business value lens first, technology second.