8 Reasons IT Pros Hate The Cloud - InformationWeek

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8 Reasons IT Pros Hate The Cloud

We sense a simmering level of vitriol whenever we speak with IT professionals about the cloud in our daily conversations, at industry conferences, and in other settings. Here's why.
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(Image: Alois Wonasheutz via Pixabay)

Hate is a powerful word. Yet, it accurately describes how IT professionals feel about cloud computing. They're not screaming it from the rooftops, or starting protests in social media, but there's a quiet level of vitriol we hear whenever we speak with IT professionals about the cloud in our daily conversations, at industry conferences, and in other settings.

Yes, cloud computing can cut costs (if done properly). Yes, cloud computing can improve economies of scale. And yes, cloud computing can streamline IT processes. Despite these and other clear-cut benefits, there are many infrastructure administrators who find enough problems with cloud computing that they end up loathing the whole concept altogether.

Why do IT pros hate the cloud? Some find it hard to believe that cloud computing is only continuing to gain popularity. Some object to the purely technical issues that pose problems for IT pros who are used to maintaining data and applications in-house. They feel the cloud creates more work for them. Oftentimes, the issue is rooted in the difficulty that IT admins are having transitioning to new roles. With cloud-based infrastructure, platforms, or software, hands-on technical skills aren't needed as much as they once were in IT. Instead, many enterprises seek professionals who can act as systems architects, bringing a high-level vision of end-to-end infrastructure.

With time, these and other pet peeves will be resolved. For now, though, cloud hatred is a serious problem. So serious, in fact, that it can distort the roadmap for many IT organizations. If the cloud is ignored, it can cost businesses time, money, and productivity. While some IT shops can get away with avoiding anything cloud-related today, this won't be an option for most of us in the future.

That's why it's so important to air these concerns and discuss them now. In all likelihood, the cloud is here to stay, so it's important that we identify what's causing the hate, so it can be addressed and we can all move forward. Once you've reviewed this airing of the grievances, let us know how you feel about the cloud. Have you found workarounds to lessen the pain caused by cloud implementations? Have we missed anything about cloud computing that you simply cannot stand? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

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TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
5/26/2015 | 1:10:07 PM
The other side of Cloud
Andrew, I think you would have struggled to find 8 reasons to go to the cloud. It's strictly a scale issue. Either startups who can avoid hiring core IT people and implementing data centers (and who really don't know how big they will grow up to be), or mostly consumer facing internet businesses (or e-commerce for their brick and mortar) who need scale for things like Xmas. Anyone else, it is not going to save you much money and certainly not going to improve your business.

One commenter talked about "enterprises mostly have 200+ virtual servers now". I would maintain that is way off the mark for manufacturing companies. You don't implement 200 servers to run an ERP system. And God help you if you put 200 different applications on 200 different servers because you are a SaaS guy!

This market serves these mostly do nothing companies like Facebook, Twitter, etc who live in the internet world. There are still plenty of us who actually still make the products you use to get thru life with. Cloud does very little in that world.

I'll pose the same question I always throw out in these "run your business from cloud" discussions: If you make products on your shop floor, do you really want that ability dependent on your internet connection? And if you say "private cloud", is that really any difference than traditional data centers? The user plugs his computer into wall (or connects to Wi-Fi) and all these services become available to him. So the cloud changes this how in their perspective?
erobert
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erobert,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2015 | 11:13:11 AM
the way to go when you really don't want to know what IT does for your company.
this article simplifies the concept of the cloud and the structure into the necessary collection of buzzwords selected to convince management that cloud in not only the best answer, but the ONLY answer to the question: "What should I do with my IT?". If the end goal is to sign a check and assume that all things IT are going well, then fine. Any 'architect' can tell you that the components and structure matter. Maybe as things are dumbed down further and further, we'll get to that point where a buzzword-based solution is all management looks for. I think a lot of IT pros hate articles like this which are patronizing and presumptive as well as demeaning to those working in non-cloud environments.
WalterSokyrko2
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WalterSokyrko2,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2015 | 10:41:38 AM
Private Cloud
This article assumes that cloud = public cloud. Most of the problems are alleviated or disappear if enterprise uses private cloud. This web page compares Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud (an expensive private cloud option) with Amazon Web Services (one of the cheapest public cloud option). 

Quoting from the article:

"For developers utilizing at least 200 virtual machines, Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud costs less than public cloud services from Amazon Web Services but adds the benefits and control of a private cloud offering" ...

"Cisco's bundle is upwards of 40 percent cheaper for heavy users compared with AWS"

Most enterprises probably use more than 200 virtual machines. OpenCompute hardware running OpenStack would be even cheaper. The only enterprises that can cost justify public cloud are small (less than 100 employees) or seasonal (eg. christmas tree sales, tax preparers). Many enterprises are moving from public cloud to private cloud. Smart enterprises are moving private cloud directly.
Ron_Hodges
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Ron_Hodges,
User Rank: Moderator
5/26/2015 | 10:31:35 AM
Not just "cloud" hatred...
If you have been in this business a while, you have seen the hype cycle many times for alleged "silver bullets".  One learns to question proponents who also happen to benefit directly or indirectly from the adoption of the tools or technologies being hyped.

If you do a careful TCO/TBO analysis, sometimes the hype bears out, and sometimes it doesn't.  The same will be true for cloud.  As with any solution or technology, it is not an unalloyed benefit for everyone.  There are tradeoffs that one must accept -- in transparency, control, and yes, even performance.
abrantley
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abrantley,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2015 | 10:28:32 AM
There's a difference between a fact and a possibility
"the fact is that a properly run cloud service provider likely has better resources, and a more robust security infrastructure."

Now there is a sentence that hangs on contradiction. What's the "fact,", what is "properly run,", and what is "likely."

If the "fact" is that a CSP with perfect reliability, perfect security, and certified better resources than some random organization, that's true. Please define perfect reliability, perfect security and better prices than an "average" organization. Just one name is all I need. Oh, and a contract that says they are responsible for all liabilities, both direct and consequential, that result from such failure.

I'll wait for the call....
ANON1247502484691
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ANON1247502484691,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2015 | 9:45:58 AM
A provider's perpsective
As the CTO of a Fortune 200 company said to me, "If the network is down for 5 minutes, if our EDI systems are not available to receive orders, that man (pointing to the CEO's window) kicks this butt through that window!  Anything that might interfere with our principal functions is an unnecessary convenience."

That anecdote may be simplistic and a bit dated.  Nevertheless, it explains the attraction of cloud provided SAAS.  Specialized providers offer best in class services that are secure, nimble, cost effective, and segregated from the core business functions that keep IT's hands full.

 
itsofficialleon
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itsofficialleon,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2015 | 8:38:38 AM
Difficult to leave?
I think there needs to be a bit of perspective on the 'difficult to leave/move' argument regarding the cloud. It's arguably technically easier to move from one cloud provider to another than it was to move from one on-premises solution to another, given all of the API resources. The main difference is that IT professionals probably feel like it's less in their control.

But this will change soon as more and more cloud-based migration services emerge e.g. IAM Cloud's Active Directory Migration tool. Once there are more MaaS (Migration as a Service) providers for mail, storage, CRM, MIS, ERP etc, moving from one provider to another will be incredibly easy. This will pose SaaS providers an interesting challenge, and undoubtedly increase competition, which can only be a good thing for consumers.

The idea that moving to the cloud will 'lock you in' is completely unfounded. Automated cloud-based migration services will be a huge growth area over the next 2-3 years.
Pablo Valerio
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Pablo Valerio,
User Rank: Ninja
5/26/2015 | 8:07:24 AM
Difficult To Move Out
Andrew, I agree with you that "Difficult To Move Out" is probably the biggest issue for IT professionals. 

The other reasons are mostly vaild, except fear, whcih can't be justified now. But the ability to move your cloud storage easily should be one of the first items on a checklist before choosing a cloud provider.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
5/26/2015 | 7:13:54 AM
Re: CYA
Yeah I think that CYA is the big company mantra in general. I don't think you can ever completely CYA as an IT person though. Even the best IT person for example, with the most bullet proof disaster recovery plan, has to wait for a disaster for the common folk to realize the benefit of their genius. And even then the most common fold can't differentiate between the disaster that occurred (not our fault) from the excellent plan that recovered from it.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
5/26/2015 | 2:34:42 AM
CYA
In any IT role I've played in any company I've always been taught to cya so no blame gets placed on my shoulders. The cloud makes cya virtually impossible. If you're responsible for the show then you don't duck out at halftime. That is easy to avoid when things are within your control. But once the level of control is outsourced to a third party you use the ability to maintain control of the outcome. And if that outcome is bad, the users may accept that the fault is a third party's. But your boss isn't going to. And neither is the CIO.
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