I managed to get along to the Cloud World Forum in London this week. It was a busy, fast and noisy event (sometimes very noisy) which provided a way to sample a lot of views in a short space of time. The fundamentals of cloud computing are well established so there were no paradigm shaking revelations (and this wasn't the kind of premier global event where such things might get announced anyway). I did pick up some subtle signals which might be of interest to organisations wanting to move to the cloud, suppliers competing for cloud business and engineers working with cloud technologies. This first post focuses on the customer perspective.
The painful truth about cloud migration
For customers wanting to make the move to cloud computing a number of distinct strategies seem to be appearing. A very common strategy - allow me to call this Filling the Attic - is the same strategy organisations have used for earlier waves of technology. This involves refreshing the long term target architecture to include cloud computing (often with a "cloud-first" or "cloud by default" policy) and then letting individual business units and change projects implement the target piece by piece. Over a number of years the changes accumulate and the organisation moves towards the new cloud computing architecture. But they will never quite reach the destination - stubborn pockets of legacy architectures will remain and can't be thrown away. If executed well this is actually a nearly optimal way to run IT but most organisations lack the discipline and governance necessary to keep this technical sprawl under control.