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Cloudy expectations

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Dave Krenik
Dave Krenik

What was the most recent time that you experienced a gap between your expectations and reality? What was that like? How did you feel?

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary in Vancouver, B.C. this fall. As previously noted, both my wife and I grew up working in fine dining. We both enjoy (very) nice meals. It would be a gross understatement to say that we were pleasantly surprised with the food scene in Vancouver—it is amazing!

There was one dinner, in particular, that we were looking forward to. This place was on every top 10 list that I found. The menu looked cutting edge and the reviews were over the top. When we arrived, both of the hostesses were frazzled, to say the least. Our table wasn’t ready (no big deal), so we were ushered to the lounge. The two bartenders were struggling to keep up with what seemed to me a not unreasonable workload. We ordered cocktails and water. When our cocktails finally arrived, we enjoyed them while waiting for our table (never did get the waters though). We were beginning to wonder if coming to this restaurant might have been a mistake. This was going to be our most expensive dinner of the trip, and these folks were not having their best night. Fortunately, our waiter took great care of us the remainder of the evening. Still, we had some pretty lofty expectations for that meal that were not met.

Fans of American football will remember that there were some pretty lofty expectations when the Denver Broncos signed former Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson (5 years; $245M) in 2022. Wilson's expected performance and what was actually delivered couldn’t have been much further apart.

It looks like some folks aren’t getting what they expected in their move to the cloud. Were their expectations unrealistic? Perhaps. It’s fairly common for companies to make moving to the cloud the goal rather than having a strategy that enables them to capitalize on the business benefits that the cloud offers. When companies move to the cloud, it’s also not unusual for them to migrate all of their on-premises inefficiencies to the cloud along with their data. McKinsey describes that mistake in their Cloud economics and the six most damaging mistakes to avoid.

The C-suite appears to be wondering what happened to the ROI in their cloud investments. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Roughly 67% of 1,000 senior technology leaders at U.S. firms across industries said they have yet to see a significant return on cloud investments.” There are some common issues holding companies back from realizing cloud savings: insufficiently skilled IT teams, added security and compliance requirements, and a misalignment on expected outcomes. According to IDC’s 1H21 Servers and Storage Workloads Survey, August 2021, a lot of folks are looking for a mulligan. The survey of over 2,000 respondents with over 7,000 workloads shows that they expect to repatriate more than 70% of their workloads from the cloud over the next 2 years. What went wrong with the migration to the cloud?

Investigating a bit further, we find that (surprise!) all is not gloom and doom for the cloud. Many companies view their embrace of the cloud as a success. Deloitte, in “Closing the cloud strategy, technology, and innovation gap: Deloitte US Future of Cloud Survey Report,” reports that companies that view their move to the cloud as a success view the cloud as a “force multiplier” of their digital strategy. The move drives positive business outcomes in mitigating business and regulatory risk, bringing new products and services to market, and supporting ESG initiatives, among others. They are also likely to embrace a multicloud strategy, employing three or four cloud service providers.

NetApp provides customers who are moving their Oracle, SAP, and SQL Server environments to the cloud (or who are already in the cloud), tools to help make sure that their expectations of embracing the cloud are appropriately met. Tools that recommend an instance choice based on the latest available instances from the cloud service provider, as well as data reduction features, all help keep cloud spending in check—and more.

The evolved cloud breaks down silos and enables administration of your data, whatever clouds you’re in, and on premises as well, with a unified management plane and common APIs.

Delve deeper into cloud migration

When you’re ready to see how your cloud reality can meet your expectations, check out how NetApp can help your cloud transformation to be a success:

And when you’re ready to exceed the expectations of your board of directors, check out what an evolved cloud can do for your Oracle, SAP, and SQL Server environments.

Dave Krenik

Dave has been bringing solutions to market under various monikers (alliances, business development, solution marketing) for more than 15 years. Before entering the world of tech, he enjoyed a 15-year stint in the wine business.

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