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Mind the Earth, before seeking the Clouds!

Techfucius | March 27, 2017
Techfucius, the great cloud computing philosopher, applies his unique brand of wisdom to the nature of enterprise IT today

Yin and yang


In astrology, the 'earth' personality is said to be calm, hard-working, stable, and patient. The 'earth' element is also commonly associated with heaviness, matter and the terrestrial world.

Don't you think it sounds a great deal like on-premise IT infrastructure: working solidly and silently in the background?

The 'air' element, on the other hand, represents 'idea-driven' people who look at things from a loftier position. They are intellectual and good problem solvers - and offer clarity which others may not have. Do you have a dilemma? Get an air person to solve it. Or, as many IT leaders think today, put it on the cloud!

And so we have the solid, stable servers, storage and on-premise infrastructure; and the racy, airy, cloud.

Gartner talks about earth and air in its own way: when they describe 'bi-modal IT.' The two modes are each designed to develop and deliver information services in their own ways. While Mode I is traditional, focusing on safety and accuracy; Mode II is exploratory, with an emphasis on agility and speed.

Asia Pacific is at the forefront of the cloud revolution, with demand for cloud forecasted to grow to US $23.8 billion by 2020, according to the 2016 Global Cloud Data Security Study from Gemalto. Cloud enables organisations to swiftly provision resources for faster development of new products and services. The reduction in development time makes organisations much more agile in responding to shifting marketing demands.

Some astrologists, when matching personality types, say that 'earth' and 'air' personality types are strongly drawn to and complement one another. 'Air' people often need 'grounding.' 'Earth' people enjoy the free flow of ideas that only an air person can offer.

Similarly, both the stable 'Mode I' IT and the agile 'Mode II' IT need to coexist. Gartner states that Bimodal is not just an IT strategy, but an overall business approach. Organizations will need Bimodal to manage uncertainty, disruption, and the emergence of a digital workplace.

According to a report from the IBM Institute for Business Value 'Tailoring Hybrid Cloud', many organisations' adoption of cloud is restrained. Three major challenges faced by them include: security and compliance requirements, cost structure, and risk of operational disruption.

Almost half of computing workloads are expected to remain on dedicated, on-premise servers. Organisations are realizing the need for a mix of 'earth' and 'air', of Mode I and Mode II IT, of on-premise and cloud. The critical question now is, which functions should remain on the 'earth' and what should be pushed into the 'clouds?'


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