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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 184082 9-Nov-2015 21:31
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Hi, A recent post I made on this issue that I think may be of interest and helpful to those who are planning a cloud migration. Reposted from here below...

Accelerate Your Digital Strategy - Avoid Lock-In

Digital Disruption has become the "Wolf at the door" as small nimble start-up businesses combine Cloud, Mobility, Social Media, IoT and Analytics technologies to create new ways to take market share away from traditional local based businesses (Uber, Netflix etc) This is why organisations are investing heavily in Digital Transformation programmes, to both adapt to the threat, and capitalise on the growth opportunities this presents. One of the single biggest barriers to an organisations ability to adopt a digital strategy, is the impact of capital depreciation and multi year licensing contracts from legacy IT investments. Remember, start-up organisations are not saddled with these challenges, and therefore tend to be far more agile in the development and iteration of new products and services.

Lock-in is Pervasive
Having worked for many years on ICT Outsource Due Diligence projects, I have gained a real appreciation for the scale of the problem, and the degree of lock-in that IT organisations unwittingly find themselves in. Standard procurement practices result in lock-in to “Multi-year software licensing agreements” and “Capital Investment” to obtain competitive pricing. However, these multi year “residual costs” cannot be influenced in the short term by operational or strategic changes in business direction, and often represent a high percentage of an organisations annual IT costs. The net effect is IT Organisations lose control over their future direction, as their budget does not allow them the freedom to adopt new technologies, until assets are depreciated or contracts are up for renewal. For this reason many organisations are now employing a “Cloud First” strategy to avoid this lock-in. Cloud Technologies can provide access to infrastructure and software on a pay as you use basis, with the ability to quickly scale up or down without up-front capital investment or multi-year software contracts.

The Fast Eat The Slow

Without a change in approach every SAN, Server or Software License Contract that you purchase today, will slow down your ability to adopt agile cloud technologies. The sooner you break the 3-5 year capital lock in of purchasing on-premise equipment or software licensing agreements, the sooner you will be able to accelerate digital transformation initiatives in your business. Whatever your Digital Transformation strategy is, I recommend you break this cycle of lock-in to ensure you retain freedom of choice, and avoid being one of the "big that are eaten by the small"


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  Reply # 1424098 10-Nov-2015 07:21
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Welcome to Geekzone :)

Lock in could be an issue if you're using cloud specific features, which AWS has a lot of. On the other hand if you're using basic stuff like VMs, databases (whether on your own VM or RDS/Azure), and some kind of load balancer, you're probably ok.

What keeps many organisations off the public cloud is fear of the unknown. Is security going to be a problem? How about performance? Will we get hacked? Do we need to do something with security? Do we meet government standards (for govt organisations)? Plus organisational inertia and the policy and technical changes required for some systems.




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  Reply # 1424106 10-Nov-2015 07:53
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premises has an s, "on premise" means something else :)

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  Reply # 1424110 10-Nov-2015 07:58
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Lack of trust born from inconsistencies and changing goal posts. Plants the question why would I trust any provider?




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

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  Reply # 1424120 10-Nov-2015 08:35
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If your provider uses an industry standard (available to the enterprise) hypervisor, and is willing to provide you the raw files, you can move fairly easily.

Here in NZ for example there are many providers using VMware ESX and/or Microsoft Hyper-V - both of which you can host yourself and both of which allow a level of portability between providers since the underlying disk files and registration files are standard.

At the raw IaaS layer you should only see lock-in with proprietary vendors such as AWS, Google and to an extent Azure.  In the SaaS layer however, lock-in becomes far more prevalent due to the typically bespoke nature of the software application.  Sure the database might be a standard format but how wildly normalised is your data?  Perhaps there is an export option but is it useful and is it exhaustive?

As we move up the stack from on-site self-managed infrastructure to outsourced elastic IaaS (cloud) and then into pure software subscription play, the risks of lock-in increase.
This will change, I hope, as we have seen with IaaS.  SaaS will need to adopt some standards to prevent companies having to walk away from their data.  We use ZenDesk for out-of-band support ticketing but it is nearly impossible to get all our data (especially the KB).






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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1424132 10-Nov-2015 08:59
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timmmay: Welcome to Geekzone :)

Lock in could be an issue if you're using cloud specific features, which AWS has a lot of. On the other hand if you're using basic stuff like VMs, databases (whether on your own VM or RDS/Azure), and some kind of load balancer, you're probably ok.

What keeps many organisations off the public cloud is fear of the unknown. Is security going to be a problem? How about performance? Will we get hacked? Do we need to do something with security? Do we meet government standards (for govt organisations)? Plus organisational inertia and the policy and technical changes required for some systems.


Yes I agree, all good points. The frustration many IT Managers have to wrestle with today is that 5 year depreciation on a huge  HW investment or Multi Year License agreements that they cant even do anything about.

Around about this time every year the XYZ Software sales person turns up in a BMW with a Rolex Watch and gets aces their sales target through Annual SW License True-ups - Generally resulting in nasty surprises for CIOs   :)

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  Reply # 1429236 16-Nov-2015 21:11
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btrevarthen:

At the raw IaaS layer you should only see lock-in with proprietary vendors such as AWS, Google and to an extent Azure.  In the SaaS layer however, lock-in becomes far more prevalent due to the typically bespoke nature of the software application.  Sure the database might be a standard format but how wildly normalised is your data?  Perhaps there is an export option but is it useful and is it exhaustive?


Several companies I deal with have never even attempted to export and import their data into an alternative solution. During the analysis phase, the company were satisfied by the fact that they could tick the "data can be exported" box on their evaluation survey.

btrevarthen: As we move up the stack from on-site self-managed infrastructure to outsourced elastic IaaS (cloud) and then into pure software subscription play, the risks of lock-in increase.
This will change, I hope, as we have seen with IaaS.  SaaS will need to adopt some standards to prevent companies having to walk away from their data. 


We're seeing similar scenarios play out in the IoT space. We just haven't reached a satisfactory level of standardization or product maturity that. As you say, hopefully this will change over time.

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