The Myth of “The Cloud Will Fix It!”

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Imagine that you are a farmer in the 1800s and that you have a horse. You need your horse to plow fields so that you can plant seeds.

One day your horse falls ill and cannot pull your plow. You cannot plant seeds, and therefore will have no crops to harvest for the season. You have access to a local veterinarian who can examine your horse and treat the horse’s illness.

Would you instead move the horse to a different field and expect that to solve the problem?

Of course not. The problem is not what field the horse is plowing, but the illness within the horse itself. You need the veterinarian to treat the horse and nurse it back to health. Moving a sick horse from one field to another still leaves you with a sick horse.

Unfortunately there are a lot of businesses out there moving their “sick horses” onto the fields of “the cloud” expecting their problems to disappear. Cloud computing is a great model for businesses to adopt, but cloud computing does not resolve issues with the systems themselves. Cloud computing offers more flexibility and greater efficiency. Cloud computing does not fix broken systems.

Going back to the farming analogy, a healthy horse moved off of a barren rocky field onto a more fertile and rich field will plow the field faster and with less effort. The same is true of a well maintained and healthy IT system moved off of a restrictive infrastructure onto a more accommodating cloud infrastructure. And just like a sick horse remains sick no matter what field you have it plowing, if you have a broken IT system moving it onto a cloud infrastructure will not fix your system’s problems.

I am a proponent for cloud infrastructures, but as IT professionals we have to know what cloud computing can and cannot do. The cloud expands upon what a business can accomplish when their systems are running in a dynamically sized and flexible environment. Some cloud based services are superior to some traditional services (and the reverse can be true as well). You should investigate and research how a cloud infrastructure can improve your IT services and help your business. Cloud computing comes with a lot of benefits.

A broken system is still a broken system though, regardless of what infrastructure it resides upon.

As an IT professional tend to your system’s health regardless of where it resides, or else you might be the one put out to pasture when that expensive migration of a bad system to a cloud provider does not fix your problem.

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