A cloud-first policy is not the answer for all enterprise apps

Cloud first is the new orthodoxy, and with good reason. Companies large and small are moving assets off site and into the cloud, driven by financial incentives and often enticed by the chance to access leading-edge technology without having to staff up or make large hardware investments.

Still, not every cloud has a silver lining. Anecdotal evidence crops up now and again that shows some organizations just aren’t finding cloud nirvana. Some, indeed, say they have brought resources back into traditional data centers or have built a private cloud environment.

For some, cloud computing has not worked — or not worked well. The reasons, experts say, are usually both narrow and specific, involving situations that couldn’t easily fit a public cloud model. Their message: If you understand where you are going, your requirements and the capabilities of the cloud, your cloud deployment will probably succeed.

Marc Clark, director of cloud strategy and deployment at Teradata Corp., a data warehouse and service provider, based in Dayton, Ohio, said he has grown accustomed to hearing cloud laments, but it’s usually because people wandered into a cloud-first policy without adequate preparation.

“I can’t tell you the number of times I hear the phrase, ‘Because we have a cloud mandate,’ when people are asked why they are moving to the cloud,” he said.

Surprisingly, many people aren’t able to explain why they have a cloud-first policy, Clark said. But most, undeterred by the fact that they don’t actually have a clearly understood reason for moving to the cloud, march on anyway.

“Even worse than moving somewhat blindly to the cloud, I often hear of companies having a single public cloud provider strategy,” Clark said. The attraction to standardizing on a single provider is an effort to reduce financial and procurement complexity. The problem, he argued, is that public clouds were not built to handle every situation and application equally.

For example, some business…

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