Barriers to the Cloud
It comes as no surprise that most businesses are reluctant to pervasively deploy cloud-based services for their core mission-critical applications. For years, businesses have strived to increase vertical backward integration of core business processes, data and supply-chains. In other words, businesses inherently gain more certainty, control and competitive advantage by directly owning the data critical to their supply chain. Undermining this control for cost savings and time-to-market advantages is a challenging cost-benefit analysis.
The wholesale adoption of cloud-based services may reduce resource costs for businesses, but cuts down operational effectiveness by bludgeoning control of business data and introducing new security, privacy, legal and in some cases, performance challenges. This being said, we cannot ignore the fact that significant time to market advantages and capital cost savings can be achieved through the selective use of cloud-based services. To use a concrete PaaS type of example, all it takes is an IT person with a credit card to get a farm of servers up and running and available for use. The setup, physical datacenter costs, maintenance and patching for the servers are all rolled into the monthly bill. In this sense we can talk about businesses being conservative with existing systems but aggressive in selecting cloud services that will provide some competitive cost and cycle advantages, either for partnership, new technology R&D or some new service their existing infrastructure cannot provide.
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