Moving to cloud IaaS and PaaS - is it a silver bullet?

I was recently at a networking event where I got chatting to a founder of an Internet of Things consultancy company. We had very similar views about the confusion around cloud services – at the moment IaaS is the default choice (it doesn’t even have to be explained), but is this the best option?

This got me thinking, what are senior decision makers, or buyers, looking for with a move to a cloud platform. If buying decisions are being driven by a CIO then it’s probably going to be cost savings. This makes perfect sense; if you have ephemeral computing requirements then of course you should benefit from the race to the bottom between the big public IaaS providers.

The problem is that cost savings don’t naturally deliver business value. Value is one of those intangible things that means different things to different businesses. Moving a load of business services into a public cloud just to save money will almost certainly not deliver value and may in fact result in higher costs. Migration plans never go wrong, right?

Moving to the cloud is far more of a cultural challenge than technological one.

I think that to make sure that value (however a business measures this) is derived from what public IaaS can offer all the stake holders need to be on-board. This means engaging with the people carrying out the migration, those running and orchestrating the infrastructure and those making the purchase.

I hear a lot of confusion around infrastructure being the silver bullet for a business who has a lot of legacy IT, but I think you need to abstract away from the infrastructure to actually get value in the business and that means engaging with your developers and business executives, and making sure that the conversation about cloud is happening across the board.