August 08, 2014

Is it time to trust your enterprise to the cloud?

As an IT Director or executive, forward thinking and a little crystal-ball vision into the future is a must.  I have seen the initial birth of cloud computing from virtualization and its evolution into a trusted service...or is it?

Office 365 VS Google Docs.  Azure VS Amazon.  The list goes on of many services that "promise" five 9's availability, along with reduced overhead turning into efficiencies and savings for you and your organization.  It was this "promise", along with streamlined mobility for my users that had attracted me to considering Office 365 for my enterprise.  And then along came the Microsoft Office 365 outage in June of this year (2014) which had me apply the brakes and think things through a little more thoroughly.

Now even though I was leaning in this direction as a recommendation, there were still many causes of concern for me.  My team would no longer have complete and total control to the supporting infrastructure.  We would now have to simply trust a 3rd party...Microsoft.  That brings to light the support and response in case of an emergency.  Putting an SLA on paper is one thing, but in practice...well history from multiple vendors has taught me these are simply guidelines.  But would the cost savings out-weigh the risk?  The savings, after-all, would allow more dollars to be spent on growing the business, and not be sucked down the "IT Cost Centre Black Hole".

I still believe services such as Office 365 are the way to go...however I do not see trusting this technology as my sole method of accessing the software/service.  Business continuity is key.  Providing some sort of redundant, hybrid solution that includes on-premise seems more and more logical, as well as integrating monitoring systems for the cloud based service.

No technology solution is fool-proof.  Even internal infrastructure relies ultimately on an internet provider.  The cloud-based revolution is only beginning, and the solutions will only improve.

I'm Mike M.