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Still wary about public cloud? Don’t be.

I think the advantages of moving to the public cloud are obvious. Yet with the adoption of this scale of platform shift, there are going to be many people who resist the change. This blog is for those people – and my responses to why I think you still need to DO IT.

First, let’s look at the benefits.

Adopting public cloud across the business will save money in both the short and long term – no question.TCO can be reduced by a huge amount: depending on the application, anywhere from 50 to 80 percent. Capital costs are reduced, maintenance is reduced, staffing costs are reduced.

Public cloud security levels cannot be matched by telcos. The ongoing investment by the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft in the security of their cloud services is deep and wide and underpins their business model. Moving to the public cloud will enhance the security of your network and your data and provide greater protection for your end-users.

Disaster recovery is built-in – another thing you don’t have to worry about (or pay for). Automatic network provisioning means your capacity will always match demand – no more worst-case scenario planning or investment in resources you don’t need.

Using the public cloud will enable you to reinvent your workflows, impacting not only the economics of software development but the dynamic of your teams. The public cloud platform provides a rich and flexible environment, so new services can be envisioned, created and brought to market much, much faster than you could manage in-house, by people you could never afford to hire.

Now let’s look at the main reasons usually laid out for not moving to the public cloud – and debunk them.

Moving to the public cloud is too expensive … I have heard this excuse a few times: “We looked at it, we costed it out, it’s more expensive than private cloud or public cloud.”

If this was your conclusion, your team is doing something WAY WRONG. If you are moving applications to the public cloud as is – a lift and shift migration – yes, you are correct, it will be way more expensive. If this is your plan, then my suggestion is to leave it where it is. Because the way you provision resources on the ground is drastically different than it is in the public cloud. Applications need to be redesigned and refactored for the public cloud, and when you do this, you can not only save a ton of money but you can also rip and replace whole components of code, which reduces your code base footprint, making it easier to support. Once you rethink the way you’ve deployed these applications, you’ll realize the $millions you can save.

The public cloud isn’t secure enough … the demand for security in the public cloud has resulted in providers focusing huge amounts of resources on this area. AWS, for example, has created its own cybersecurity service GuardDuty, while Google has Private Service Connect. With a move to the public cloud, you don’t need to build or manage your own security solutions on premise. All public cloud providers have security stories. They all differ but they all have three things in common: they are robust, reliable and proven. According to Gartner, in nearly all cases of cloud security breaches, it is the user, not the cloud provider, who fails to manage the controls used to protect an organization’s data. Gartner predicts that through 2025, 99 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.

We already have our own data center … data centers owned by the hyperscalers are global networks of highly secure interconnected facilities providing national and international access, managed and continuously enhanced by the best brains in the business. That level of capability simply cannot be replicated by a telco IT team. But also…why? Why not shrink or eliminate unnecessary work so you can focus on what’s most important: delivering an excellent customer experience and leave the slog of supporting hard drive crashes, virus updates – to the best technologists in the world?

We’re already using a mix of private cloud providers … everyone knows how much I love calling private cloud #fakecloud. It’s more expensive than bare metal, on premise. You’re still buying all that hardware, all that capex….and what are the tangible, measurable benefits? Sure, you may use private cloud as a half step on your way to the public cloud, but do not make it your destination. To realize the big savings I am talking about, you need to get as many applications to the public cloud. Don’t wuss out.

Perhaps the real opposition to the public cloud is more personal: fear of the new and unknown. This is a real issue. The public cloud is absolutely a threat to tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs. IT professionals inside telcos have got to be asking themselves what this change means for them personally. They don’t have public cloud skills and without data centers and machines to manage … what does this mean for their future? Leaders in telcos need to address this concern head on. Do not try to avoid the issue – you can’t. The truth is IT professionals who develop public cloud management skills can see a 20-30% increase in salary. Moving to the public cloud is a massive transformation project that, if done successfully, adds great, in-demand experience to anyone’s CV. Yes, it is true that thousands of jobs will be eliminated, but instead of hiding this fact, the future should be embraced. Tell the organization and get everyone prepared for the change that is inevitably going to come.

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