A Ruthless Approach To Avoiding Cloud Repatriation

A ‘Ruthless’ Approach to Avoiding Cloud Repatriation

Arraya Insights | April 26, 2019

Cloud migrations continue driving technology spend skyward and there’s no shortage of studies demonstrating that fact. Earlier Avoiding cloud repatriationthis year, we published a blog post citing Gartner research projecting overall IT spend to grow by 3.2% worldwide and cloud-specific spend to rise by 17.5%. Since then, we’ve come across others, including CIO/IDG’s Tech Poll: Tech Priorities 2019, which found more than half (57%) of IT executives expected their budgets to go up, with 67% crediting the cloud for that growth. Despite the abundance of buzzy research, for many of the workloads that move to the cloud, the journey to the public cloud has proved to be disappointingly circular.

IDC’s 2018 Cloud and AI Adoption Survey showed 80% of IT decision-makers have seen their organizations relocate data or applications from the public cloud to either a private cloud or simply an on premises environment. Moreover, respondents said they plan to migrate 50% of their applications out of the public cloud, preferring to house them in either an on-premises or private cloud environment. IDC cited security concerns (19%), performance issues (14%), and cost (12%) as being chiefly responsible for cloud repatriation initiatives.

Of course, going to the public cloud only to come back onsite again is not ideal. It’s costly, particularly if an on-premises environment needs to be re-provisioned to accommodate that influx of data. Onsite workloads lose that easy scalability that motivates so many cloud migrations in the first place. Also, it’s incorrect to assume either onsite or private cloud-based workflows are automatically more secure than those that reside in the public cloud. Few organizations have the technological prowess, let alone the budgets, possessed by leading cloud vendors like Microsoft and AWS. They’re bigger targets, sure. They’re also way out in front of the pack as far as cyber security goes.

‘Ruthlessly’ preventing cloud repatriation

So, in short, cloud repatriation may not even actually solve the problems leading organizations to consider it. Instead, the better plan is to take more strategic approach the cloud. The U.S. Army recently shared some advice on how it does exactly that.

At FCW’s recent Cloud Summit, Thomas Sasala (Director of Operations and Architecture and Chief Data Officer at the Headquarters, Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Information Officer [CIO]/G-6) discussed the U.S. Army’s strategy for optimizing cloud migrations. During his session, Sasala laid out a tactic that could prove instrumental to avoiding future cloud repatriation.

Sasala emphasized that the cloud isn’t the right home for every workload. Too many organizations believe the opposite to be true. Then, they fall into the trap of moving everything into the cloud, spiking their costs and slowing their migrations only to be ultimately disappointed by the result. Rather than cramming everything they can into the cloud, they must be more “ruthless” when it comes to migrations. Sasala recommends leveraging what he and his team describe as “ruthless rationalization.”

Before a workload moves to the cloud, Sasala and his team seek to tie it to a provable, mission-critical justification. If they can’t come up with one, the workload remains onsite. The key is to be truly ruthless, picking apart false conclusions or flimsy arguments. This is something Sasala feels is possible only with the full support of organizational leadership. Without that high-level support, it’s too easy to circumvent, ignore, or overrun the policy.

Next Steps: Lean on the insights and expertise of a cloud partner

Need a hand plotting your cloud migration? Or, are you still waiting to experience the upsides envisioned during your initial planning? Arraya can help. Our Cloud Optimize services empower organizations to thrive in the cloud, no matter where they are on the journey. Our experts will work alongside you to find the right cloud provider for your needs, optimize your ongoing cloud spend, or reveal hidden operational inefficiencies. Please visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to learn more about what Cloud Optimize can do for your organization.

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