Migrating to the Cloud is Not a Panacea


Any migration of real-time applications to the cloud requires a business case which needs to be supported by a road map, a new mindset and life cycles. As RTInsights blogger Tim Vibbert warns here, don’t think moving to the cloud is a panacea for an organization’s existing problems.

An organization I know has hired an outside firm to develop a white paper describing the feasibility for the organization to perform a migration to the cloud of its real-time solutions portfolio.

This organization has been hosting small portions of its on-premises, real-time infrastructure in a virtual environment for a couple of years now. They are exploring the potential migration of their real-time solutions portfolio to a hosted provider. I believe this is a purely IT-driven activity. There has been no discussion from the business side of the house to explore such potential.

While this could be a viable IT-driven activity, the IT staff has not presented any of the benefits to the business. They have not discussed the savings that could be realized by not having to host their own real-time infrastructure. Such savings could come in the form of reduced facility capacity, consolidated resources and increased efficiency in real-time infrastructure deployment by shortening the timeline of the hardware life cycle, etc.

While this organization is considering real-time portfolio migration to a hosted environment, there seems to be no road map beyond that activity. They seem to expect to continue to follow the same processes and life cycles that are currently in place. To compound the situation, there is virtually no automation within the real-time processes or life cycles. These processes are already flawed and will only be exasperated by moving to a hosted environment.

They plan to continue to develop real-time solutions in the same manner as they do today. Their real-time portfolio contains very little service orientation. There are a few real-time solutions that contain web services but they do not have an enterprise practice or mindset. The web services that are present are heavy and brittle. Their real-time solutions are currently not designed to be responsive nor take advantage of elastic resources within the cloud.

While the nature of the work that this organization performs requires meticulous effort, I believe their processes could be streamlined, modernized and made much more efficient—and they should do so prior to any migration to the cloud.

I believe any migration they do to the cloud will require a business case which needs to be supported by a road map, a new mindset and life cycles. Don’t think moving to the cloud is a panacea for existing problems.

Tim Vibbert

About Tim Vibbert

Tim Vibbert is the Chief Architect for SOA & Cloud Solutions for a large organization. Tim is an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader with 20 years of experience in the software development and integration industries. Tim's industry experience includes a tenure as CTO for a consulting firm as well as positions from Enterprise Architect to Chief Engineer for large organizations in several industries. Follow him on Twitter at @soachief.

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