No one may be able to define exactly what the term cloud means in business technology today. Is it a rack of machines paid for by the second? A set of powerful APIs? A set of extensive services — all with acronyms that end in “aaS” — that enterprises can lean on as building blocks for their own stacks? Or is it just an IT budgeting strategy based on the belief that renting is better than buying?
The definition of cloud computing may be continually shifting as vendors add new features and roll out new services, but everyone knows it has been a great option for enterprises across every industry — and is only gaining steam as a key player in IT strategies. Development teams can go further and build more thanks to the range of tools and pools of compute resources available in the cloud. Businesses can better weather seasonal or temporary spikes in customer activity when everyone logs on to their websites and services at once. Analytics teams can experiment with the latest in machine learning technologies at scale, and IT leaders can increasingly scour capital expenditure line items from their budgets, while keeping their line-of-business colleagues happy with their semi-autonomy.
Still, though much of the excitement around the cloud is merited and the business value is well-established, there’s also a dark underbelly to leaning on the big cloud vendors’ stacks. Here are 10 reasons to be wary of when bringing your business to the cloud.
You’re locked in more than you think
At first glance, selling a commodity operating system on commodity hardware should be a commodity business. But somehow the cloud world is surprisingly sticky. Even when your data or the services you create in the cloud are theoretically portable, simply moving all those bits from one company’s cloud to another seems to take quite a bit of time.