Cloud is fast. Cloud is everywhere. Cloud is flexible; versatile; elastic. Cloud is the future. At least all of us probably expect this from the times to come. Previous disruptions promised similar realities: the advent of the Personal Computer, or the Internet. And they all delivered unseen dynamic capabilities.
It is also noticeable that in order for those technologies to end up being not only dynamic, but reliable as well, years of work around protocols, standards, languages, etc, were required. Some parts are today more integrated than others, but we can send emails, you can read this post on your pc, device, or whatever, probably with little or no problems at all. But again; it required lots of work for it to be this way. This brings us to an idea that holds true not only for IT, but for almost any business: The “and” rather than the “or” required between Speed and Stability.
Organizations have been urged to become Agile for years. They have been required to speed up their business processes, to change, to evolve, to respond quickly to the ever changing markets. Not so much has been told about their need to grow up stable as well; though stability in the end usually plays well with investors, provides reliable frameworks, brings sustainable and risk-averse operations, reduces volatility. Nevertheless the center of importance has usually been utterly inclined towards dynamism.
When the versatility of cloud comes to change everything, I find inevitable to think about the analogy with Versatility and Stability in Business. In a recent article, McKinsey & Co. showed this very well:
The analogy I mention around IT, comes when public clouds are usually thought of as the enablers of dynamism, and private clouds as the enablers of stability and control. If we then build the previous matrix thinking about IT providers and their offerings, we will find those who are week all across the board, then quadrants for players strong on either the public or private sides of the house, and finally players with strong offerings all along. Let’s look at this in more detail:
What brings us to…
4. What happens when you can offer public and private clouds as one? “As one” means fully integrated. It means that your whole IT footprint can live on the public cloud, on-premises, on both, moving as the time of the year changes, as your needs evolve, as your customers’ needs evolve. There are customers which are focusing entirely on the previous quadrant (3), for they are being pushed to think the future will be entirely on the public cloud. Wrong. What’s the Oracle approach?
First of all we understand there are several reasons why 75% of workloads out there are still running on-premises:
It is fair to assume, under a business rationale, that companies need both stability and agility to succeed. It is also fair to assume, under an IT rationale, that public-cloud-only vendors, just like private-cloud-only ones, are missing an important part of the game. Sticking those two together at the customer side won’t do the job, for they won’t be integrated. Translating it to business equivalents, you would be choosing agility in some processes, stability in some others, but not agility and stability across your entire business operation. It is not, nevertheless, hard to understand the hype going around the public cloud. Business literature pondered for a long time speed/flexibility over stability, though evidence has proven successful companies have both. Let’s hope IT follows...