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Cloud first does not mean cloud always

Sitting in sessions at the Gartner Catalyst conference, one might expect to hear continual pushes to get everything into the cloud. That’s just not the case. In one key session, the message was that while it’s prudent to have a “cloud first” strategy, “cloud always” may not be wise.

That line of thinking was delivered by Kyle Hilgendorf, a Gartner vice president of research who is strictly business. No kidding around here. Some applications simply do better running in a traditional IT model. Which ones? There’s no clear answer because no two businesses are exactly alike. For one, ERP may do best sticking with a traditional model, for another it may be manufacturing process control. Or it could be a batch process, such as monthly statement rendering. It just depends.

Some legacy applications simply aren’t technically suited for porting to the cloud. That depends, too, but paying attention to risk factors is critical. Those factors might include regulatory compliance issues, customer privacy, and, in the case of medical applications, everything from patient service levels to potential loss of life.

In your analysis of application migration, have you identified applications or processes that are not suited for the cloud? If so, join the discussion and fill us in. We’d like to hear from you.