More About “How” Than “Where”
The original “cloud computing” models were built by an IT group in the U.S. government in the mid-1950s. It wouldn’t become “the cloud” until 1996 — nicknamed by a group of Compaq engineers in Houston. And it wasn’t until 1999 that a feisty start-up called SalesForce released the world’s first software as a service (SaaS) offering — which many industry experts said would fail in a year or less.
Today, cloud technologies represent a $500B market that’s experiencing 18% compound annual growth (CAGR). More than 90% of all enterprises are in the cloud. Tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle have built massive and rapidly growing businesses by offering web services to companies and people around the world. In fact, Amazon as a company generates almost 15% of its annual revenue from annual sales of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Yet, for as long as the concept has existed and as large as the industry has become, even some of the most tech-savvy organizations still struggle with moving their workloads to the cloud and leveraging its seemingly limitless power. Even well-planned attempts often result in wasted capacity, cost-overruns or aborted attempts to move legacy assets to the cloud.
The reason? In some cases, it’s simply that migrations of entrenched legacy systems present massive technology changes that require skillsets not readily found in corporate IT departments. But the biggest reason for slow or sputtery cloud migrations is that a successful digital transformation requires a new mindset. As long-time Silicon Valley executive Paul Maritz says, “Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.”
The truth is that even for organizations with the most onerous on-premises infrastructures and largest stores of data, an effective migration to cloud does not have to be difficult. The key is to follow advice from Maritz and think less about the “where” of cloud — and more about the “how.”