Cloud computing is uniquely susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, confusion and hype surrounding it, according to Gartner, Inc. These myths slow things down, impede innovation and induce fear, thus distracting from real progress, innovation and outcomes.
"Cloud computing, by its very nature, is uniquely vulnerable to the risks of myths. It is all about capabilities delivered as a service, with a clear boundary between the provider of the service and the consumer," said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "From a consumer perspective, 'in the cloud' means where the magic happens, where the implementation details are supposed to be hidden. So it should be no surprise that such an environment is rife with myths and misunderstandings."
Even with a mostly agreed on formal definition, multiple perspectives and agendas still conspire to mystify the subject ever more. Add the incessant hype and there can be a resultant confusion that permeates IT (and beyond) today. Gartner has highlighted some of the most dangerous and misleading cloud myths:
Myth 1: Cloud Is Always About Money
While prices are dropping, especially for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), not all cloud service pricing is coming down (for example, most software as a service [SaaS]). Assuming that the cloud always saves money can lead to career-limiting promises. Saving money may end up one of the benefits, but it should not be taken for granted.
Myth 2: You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good
This is the manifestation of rampant "cloud washing." Some cloud washing is accidental and a result of legitimate confusion, but some is also based on a mistaken mantra (fed by hype) that something cannot be "good" unless it is cloud. IT organizations are also increasingly calling many things cloud as part of their efforts to gain funding and meet nebulous cloud demands and strategies. The resultant myth is that people are falling into the trap of believing that if something is good it has to be cloud.
Myth 3: Cloud Should Be Used for Everything
Related to Myth 2, this refers to the belief that the actual characteristics of the cloud are applicable to, or desirable for, everything. Clearly, there are some use cases where there is a great fit, however, not all applications and workloads benefit from the cloud. Unless there are cost savings, moving a legacy application that doesn't change is not a good candidate.
Myth 4: "The CEO Said So" Is a Cloud Strategy
When asked about what their cloud strategy is, many companies don't have one and the default is often (stated or not) that they are just doing what their CEO wants. This is not a cloud strategy. A cloud strategy begins by identifying business goals and mapping potential benefits of the cloud to them, while mitigating the potential drawbacks. Cloud should be thought of as a means to an end. The end must be specified first.
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