Predictions that load shedding could worsen are proving to be the last straw for many business leaders who are trying to achieve resilience in uncertain times.
For some, assuring continuity amid power outages, floods, riots and economic uncertainty is prompting a knee-jerk reaction to go fully cloud native and hand over responsibility for IT in its entirety.
Unfortunately, knee-jerk impulses are not the best way to make business critical decisions, and IT architecture and operations are business critical.
Cloud offers myriad benefits, but it is not a magic bullet to mitigate the effects of load shedding – or many other risks. In fact, moving to the cloud could present new and unforeseen risks if the wrong applications and data stores are moved to the cloud without proper consideration.
With a track record of over 20 years as a trusted IT partner and advisor to leading Blue Chip companies, Breakpoint has witnessed – and helped remediate – many cases of early adopters’ remorse.
Rushing to the cloud too early, or non-strategically, is a mistake many organisations have made in the past, and we have helped many of them to bring their data and applications back on-premise.
Why the U-turn?
Many organisations that raced early down the cloud road discovered that it could cost a great deal more than expected. Data ingress may be easy, but egress costs money, and when large volumes of data are constantly moving up and down, the bills can be staggering.
We are now seeing organisations trying to achieve a better balance with strategically planned hybrid environments, perhaps putting microservices and cloud friendly production data and applications in the cloud for a guaranteed safe environment, reliable power and all the other advantages, but keeping their vast non-cloud friendly data stores on-premise. The early adopters have realised that the cloud is not fit for purpose for everything.
As a solution to the challenge of operating generators and keeping systems running during load shedding, cloud may indeed offer power protection for infrastructure, however if connectivity into the cloud is impacted and customers or employees can’t access them, your business might as well be in the dark.
Getting the balance right
There are other implications when talking about on-premise technology, including the cost of power protection, but can your employees still access your apps if their connectivity is not power protected wherever they are working from? And loadshedding is not the only risk to consider: there are also cyber security, performance and – importantly – cost.
The case for multi-cloud is a compelling one for businesses looking to balance risk and reward, but achieving the right balance requires careful consideration of infrastructure, resources, budget, operational needs, resilience and several other factors. As we saw in the past as organisations weighed up outsourcing, insourcing and co-sourcing, organisations are now moving to find the cloud model that suits their operations, only with more advanced tools to orchestrate and configure the model to suit their needs and budget.
Our recommendation is that organisations should move to cloud only what delivers optimal performance and benefits in that environment. Anything else should be secured and optimised on-premise, to hit the economic sweet spot that still allows business to operate efficiently and keep innovating, whilst maintaining cost effectiveness.
It is a complex problem – but one we are helping our customers to solve. We are advising on migration, assessing what conversions should be done to make what applications cloud ready, and for those who have incorrectly taken some applications too far down the cloud road, we are helping them to turn back, thereby restoring the optimal balance to the IT operation.