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Article Amazon Web Services February 7, 2017

12 Alternative Facts About the Cloud

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed the term “alternative facts” working its way into our cultural lexicon. So we thought it might be fun to explore some alternative facts circulating about the cloud—for those of you who need a reason to detest the arrival of full-on cloud adoption or prefer to live in an alternate reality.

  1. The cloud is just a fad.
    The cloud is just a fad, as the internet is always accurate! Obviously this is not true. As recently noted by Gartner Research, “Cloud adoption continues unabated as cloud use cases shift beyond simple tactical outcomes to strategic benefits. Organizations currently using cloud services indicate they are allocating 40% of their IT budget to cloud-related spending (including cloud-related services). Seventy-eight percent of these organizations plan to increase their spending on cloud through 2017.”
  2. Only startups use the cloud.
    Startups in the cloud are like peanut butter and jelly. While true, this doesn’t really tell the whole story. In fact, the recent State of the Cloud report found that 17 percent of Enterprises now have more than 1,000 workloads in public cloud, up from 13 percent in 2015.
  3. The cloud will slow you down.
    If by slowing down, it allows you to increase your staff’s productivity by $133,000 per year, reduce your total cost of ownership by 64 percent, and has a 560 percent 5-year ROI—then that sounds pretty great, to us!
  4. The cloud is so simple my Mom could manage it.
    Yes, the cloud really can be quite simple. In comparison to a decade ago when you needed an extraordinary amount of training to get infrastructure up and running, the cloud has made things massively easier. However, if CIOs and CFOs of enterprise companies are struggling to get a handle on migration and management—it’s clearly not all that straightforward.
  5. The cloud is super organized.
    The old “set it and forget it” mentality has never been more untrue. Why?  Because it’s the cloud, of course; nothing stays exactly where or how you expect it.  No matter how organized you are (tagging anyone?), the one constant with the cloud is change. While having a system, a policy, best practices, and a checklist is a great idea, accepting and anticipating the dynamic, ephemeral, hyper-scaling reality of cloud infrastructure makes staying organized a full-time job unto itself.
  6. Our cloud can’t be hacked.
    For a skilled hacker, a major company’s cloud system is a treasure trove: sensitive data, including millions of bank accounts, email addresses, and intellectual property abound. It goes without saying that anyone’s cloud infrastructure has a huge target on its back. Understanding how to hackproof your cloud is the first step to making this alternative fact almost a reality.
  7. I’m 100% confident I know what’s happening in my cloud.
    Having clarity and confidence around your cloud’s current state should be of paramount importance to the IT, Security, and Finance teams alike. Total visibility is key—whether at the infrastructure, workload, or application layer or public, private, or hybrid environments.
  8. IaaS vendors pricing models are easy to understand.
    Cloud vendor competition is heating up to include a pricing war and new feature offerings in the battle for your business. Amazon is the clear leader with over 8 years in the market, with Azure quickly gaining velocity just behind them. But with Google and other technology leaders entering the arena, it seems that this race just sparked even further. Each pricing model has it’s own nuances, so taking the time to understand and track new developments can mean the difference between under- and over-spending.
  9. The cloud will cost the same as traditional data centers.
    Undoubtedly, the economic model of the cloud helps improve efficiencies and save money. However—like anything—unless costs are managed proactively, you will pay for unused and idle resources and incur unnecessary expenses. Deciphering the accounting around your bill, as well as determining programmatically how and when to purchase new resources, can be an enormously complicated task. Actionable insights into cloud instances can help allocate and optimize the unique cost variables of running your business in the cloud.
  10. The cloud automates itself.
    We can deploy, automate, and secure any tech stack; the cloud makes this infinitely more possible than ever before. But you can’t automate what you don’t understand. You must start with visibility, and this requires (a) actionable, prioritized insights that cut across the entire environment and (b) human intervention to ensure things are governed appropriately. The cloud should be self-healing and optimized, but this doesn’t happen without real effort to get it working correctly.
  11. My cloud provider will deal with security and compliance.
    CSPs will enable and provide certain controls and monitoring to handle today’s pressing cybersecurity realities, but make no mistake that a shared responsibility exists between you and them. We suggest getting very familiar with the AWS Shared Responsibility Model.
  12. One cloud will rule them all.
    While AWS continues to be a leader in the public cloud market, and is definitely a great place to start, it’s become clear that other cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, may be worth exploring for different workload needs. (This article offers one perspective on how the leading IaaS providers stack up.) You should focus on getting a 360-degree view of your cloud investments, whether that’s in AWS or a multi-cloud environment, to ensure comprehensive visibility and control.

What other alternative facts have you been hearing? We love to shed light on cloud myths. Join us for a free webinar February 21st as we debunk a few “alternative facts” about cloud security with 451 Research. Register today to join the discussion.

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