What I Wish I’d Known before Choosing My Cloud Provider

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by William Dupley

A recent survey by IT optimization experts indicated that almost half (40%) of organizations who use the public cloud report eventually switching back to onsite storage due to dissatisfaction with what the cloud delivers. In other words, 40% of organizations report that the experience of using the public cloud did not substantially improve the efficiency of their organizations; most dissatisfied cloud users cite security and cost concerns as the primary reasons for abandoning the cloud.

My colleagues and I at the OCDA found this phenomenon intriguing — so many IT departments and decision-makers in organizations report experiencing incredible efficiencies when they integrate public cloud into their enterprises. How are so many professionals struggling to tap into these benefits? 

To find our answers, we decided to consult cloud users directly, and their responses were incredibly revealing. Below are some of the responses that stood out to us:

What do you wish you’d known before choosing a cloud provider?

“I wish I had a financial model that would help identify the cost increase/reduction impact for the corporation on a whole, when an individual business division makes the decision to move to the cloud.”  

“I wish I knew that often the CPU, storage, networking elements are throttled artificially in the various tiers, resulting in lower performance than my on-prem equivalent CPU’s, forcing you to a higher CPU level.”

“I wish I had the ability to understand and forecast the data Ingress and Egress costs, and pay per use charges.”

“I wish I knew that charges run all the time for some elements unless I turn the system and storage off and de-allocate it.”

“I wish I knew that if I wanted to use my cloud applications elsewhere I would then have to rebuild them using the next cloud providers tooling completely.”


What do these responses have in common? They reflect that as cloud providers, we need to be educating IT professionals much more extensively about the full extent of benefits they can expect from cloud adoption. Many respondents lack the understanding and context to fully appreciate the depth of impact that cloud can have on their current support services, existing application integration, business disruption, and skills.

From this user feedback, we’ve also learned that cloud adoption must be accompanied by an in-depth IT strategic plan that pervades every pillar of the business, or it may fail to have the desired impact. Too often, businesses find that while there is an initial reduction in the cost of holding spare infrastructure capacity, these reductions are often outweighed by increased networking costs, additional integration costs, and costs involved in other changes to the IT operating model.

Technology Planning Approach

Clearly, many of our respondents were taken aback by the overall costs of cloud adoption. This means that cloud providers and innovators must consider which workloads are most suited to cloud and which are better suited to local data centres.

So, how can a business evaluate the best approach for cloud adoption that minimizes additional costs and also recognizes the benefits?

To assist enterprises in answering this question, the OCDA has released a whitepaper entitled: “Cloud Adoption Framework: What I Wish I Knew Before I Signed up with my Cloud Provider.” The guide describes common scenarios that businesses encounter when building cloud provisions into their business model, along with our insights, based on years of industry experience.

When it comes to any technology planning, it’s most prudent to break the problem down according to a number of viewpoints, which we have identified in our past blogs. When a leader seeks to solve a particular problem with new technology, it’s crucial to use a step-based approach. As you can see in the diagram below, each technological problem has a viewpoint or dimension in the business from which it can be assessed. Once you’ve determined which viewpoint will guide your assessment of new technology adoption, you can create a strategic plan by asking a series of questions.



Our cloud adoption guide raises questions for each viewpoint, and we recommend that a key decision-maker or strategic thinker within your business answer these questions in order to formulate a strategic technology adoption plan before choosing a specific cloud approach.


The Future of Cloud Adoption

Ultimately, each enterprise is unique and comprised of distinct organizational structures, products, services, operating environments, and technology infrastructure. Decisions for moving business functions, services, and applications to the cloud, therefore, are highly individual — they depend on a number of intersecting variables within each organization. Nevertheless, many businesses are using a one-size-fits-all approach to cloud adoption without assessing the needs of their business and the unique factors that propel them forward. The greatest failures in cloud initiatives can be traced back to enterprises that have not examined each of the identified viewpoints. Businesses often neglect the functional and business perspectives of cloud adoption, focusing only on the technical and implementation impacts of the new technology.

Using the Cloud Adoption Framework guide will help you as you decide on a technological path for your business — click below to download today!

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About the Author

Bill Dupley is a Digital Strategist at FoxNet. He has led IT transformation and strategic planning teams for over 50 companies and governments worldwide and bring extensive experience in IT & Business Strategic Planning, IT process design, and enterprise architecture. Bill has held several positions over his career including the Cloud Chief Technologist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada and Director of Strategy and Business Development for HPE Canada Consulting.

He is a graduate of Ryerson University, a former member of the HPE IT Global SWAT Team, and a member of the Open Data Center Alliance Cloud Maturity Model authorship team. He is dedicated to helping customers equip themselves rapidly for our ever-changing technological world.