Clouded Thinking That Could Be Costing Us

Sponsored Post: It could be time to start examining our growing reliance on public cloud platforms. Let’s start by asking a few honest questions about the true value of the cloud model. About how much it is really costing us, what it delivers versus what it promises, and whether all the messages coming out of the powerful public cloud sector make good business sense for everyone.

This candid and probing approach to cloud is at the heart of a new movie from independent film production company Dark Matter. Called Clouded and backed by tech vendors HPE and VMware, the film takes an ‘anthropological look’ at the culture of the cloud industry.

Cloud, of course, is an umbrella term that takes in a multitude of technologies and usage modes. And that might be part of the problem. One of the central issues the film identifies is that the complexity of today’s cloud deployments is making it hard to draw clear-eyed economic conclusions about their real value. Ironic, given that simplicity has always been one of cloud’s selling points.

Are organisations being seduced into moving essential applications from on-prem to a public cloud platform, but then not realising the efficiencies and savings that they were promised? It may just be, contends Clouded, that the sheer ease of the initial service procurement has blunted the rigour which IT departments once applied to every tech decision by default. Perhaps the avalanche of hype and the sugar rush of outsourcing all that responsibility have muddied judgments and obscured initial objectives.

Our reliance on the cloud, far from being soberly measured and questioned, appears to be galloping ahead like a runaway horse. Tech analyst firm Gartner says that as much as 45 percent of global IT spend will be on public cloud by 2026, up from less than 10 percent in 2018.

The film also shines a spotlight on the cartel of hyperscalers that dominate the market. The three main players – Google, AWS and Microsoft – arguably enjoy too much market power. UK regulator Ofcom seems to think so. It’s set to scrutinize the country’s £15 billion cloud services market, warning it will act if competition concerns are identified.

We should probably also consider whether these public cloud monoliths have answers for the growing concerns around data and cloud sovereignty that are troubling organizations all over Europe. And what about the exponential growth in compute now needed at the network edge? Do ‘cloud first’ strategies based around highly centralized pools of critical data play well within that scenario?

It might be preferable, posits the movie, for tech and compute decisions to be based around intended outcomes rather than a default cloud-centric technology policy. Surely a hybrid model, encompassing both on-prem and distributed cloud tech, is the most sensible stratagem.

You decide -Clouded is available to watch on-demand here.

Sponsored by HPE & VMware.

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