Why use public cloud? Why Verizon, Chevron, and many other enterprises are making the move

 In AWS, Azure, Cloud

The public cloud is attracting more and more enterprises.

Verizon is migrating to AWS, Chevron announced plans for a large scale migration to Azure, and Cox Automotive, RyanAir, Oath, and Comcast have all announced their own increased use of public cloud. The list goes on, and grows every day.

This is a real shift in the conversation. Cloud has moved from a small component of data center strategies to the center of that strategy.

The reasons why enterprises are choosing public cloud over private cloud show why this trend won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Why enterprises are moving to the public cloud

As the data platforms on the major public cloud providers mature, they are increasingly giving organizations a path to elasticity, scalability, agility, and fault tolerance that can be challenging to provide on premises.

It’s interesting that in many cases the agility and faster time to value are becoming more important to organizations than the potential for cost savings.

It’s considerably simpler to deploy a fault-tolerant relational database using a platform like AWS Aurora’s Postgres or Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database platform than a similar on-premises deployment, and it can be done much more quickly.

In cases where customers need geographic redundancy and fault tolerance, cloud providers can remove the need for backup data center and server platforms. For some customers, it can also drastically simplify issues around license and entitlement management, and avoid surprises that may show up around audits and true-ups from commercial database platforms.

Public cloud vs private cloud

Amazon uses the phrase “Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting” to describe some of the work that everyone needs to do to effectively deliver the IT infrastructure they need to run their businesses.

An increasingly large number of organizations are looking at where they’re spending time, money, and talent on that problem today, and concluding that it’s not creating a competitive advantage for them to do that work in house.

They’re better off focusing that time and attention on their core business, and innovating there. They can take advantage of the innovation that’s coming from the cloud providers to help accelerate their efforts.

A private cloud can bring some of the advantages of the public cloud – elasticity and flexibility chief among them – but it still leaves them with the need to manage data centers, hardware, networking, cooling, power, and so on. It’s rare for organizations to be so good at it that they can match the economics of the hyperscale cloud providers.

Roadblocks to watch out for

Some drawbacks of using public cloud may make it challenging for certain organizations to take this approach for all of their applications:

  1. Compliance. Organizations may have regulatory or compliance-related issues around data residency, and may find they have work to do to address those in a public cloud setting.
  2. Latency sensitivity. Organizations may have applications that are very sensitive to latency, or that need to serve users in settings with limited connectivity to the internet. Those needs may pose problems when leveraging a public cloud provider.
  3. Tight integrations. Certain applications are dependent on tight integration to a specific database provider, and leverage specific functionality in that platform that may not be available on a public cloud provider in a cost-effective way.

Organizations will also find that they need to have an effective plan for cost management and security in the public cloud; both can be managed, but they won’t happen on their own. Failure to pay attention can lead to spiraling costs, and expensive security exposure.

Why public cloud

 With some planning, the public cloud offers efficiency and agility that leaves organizations free to focus on more strategic priorities.

It also helps that there’s a growing understanding and acceptance of the cloud among enterprise security, legal, and compliance teams. They’re coming around to cloud migrations as a way to improve their organization’s security posture, rather than compromise it.

As more and more organizations move to the public cloud, take a look at your own infrastructure and business goals and determine whether the public cloud could be a fit.

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