November 18, 2013

There are three kinds of CIOs, argues Paul Cioni, CTO of Velocity Technology Solutions, a managed cloud provider. There are those that value themselves based on the number of servers they have, those that value their contribution based on the number of people who report to them, and those who really want to be strategic. The first two are not likely to move to the cloud, their voiced concerns about security and cost are "just a facade." The third will approach the topic and ask if it is secure, will it save money, will it be efficient? The third is willing to have a discussion.

And a discussion must be had. We are in an age of rapid adoption of both public and private clouds. Money is tight, and cloud is ripe with promises of cost savings. For some, those savings are astronomical. But is it for everyone?

Of course not.

Here are three missteps that, according to Cioni, are often why private cloud becomes more costly than anticipated.

1) Scale. Larger companies are going to obtain level of scale that makes the private cloud a more economically viable solution. Moving from a server to a built out private cloud environment takes time and investment, smaller firms must question if the cost is justifiable.

2) Training. When you build against cloud technology, we have a tendency to build using the same engineers who built the legacy non-virtualized infrastructure. Cioni believes these people aren't likely to embrace efficient design parameters. Engineers must be given time and training to get up to speed with the new technologies.

3) Control. There's a lack of investment by management in transparency and control tool sets, observes Cioni. Some people in cloud will buy servers and virtualize but won't put management on it, he explains. "Money is tight, software manufactures hear about cloud initiatives and there's a set of things that they are ready to bring to the table -- from virtualization tools to better hardware -- but the last thing we look at is a management console… We typically leave that automation and decision support layer out and depend on our people to learn cloud and take the best advantage of cloud. We even build economic models around this set of advantages, but we assume our people will move away from non-typical approaches to maximize it."

He adds that the layer is often cut out either due to of a lack of capital, or to protect people who are working for the firm. "We expect to get the benefits of better computing but we have the same design and use case from the people who have been running systems for 10 to 20 years."

Before joining UBM Becca served as Editor-In-Chief at Kapitall Wire, the sister site to an online brokerage firm that combines the challenges of the stock market with the thrill of ...