One of the things I often talk about with customers is the reality of buy vs. build. A conversation that expands beyond simply just infrastructure, applications and does you build your own or buy what is out there? Cloud computing makes this into a what do I want to manage conversation as well. In the conversation, I usually start off with the email conversation. When I was first in IT, now 30 plus years ago, many companies had multiple mail systems, and some even built their own. With the rise of SMTP mail, most companies that wrote their systems moved to COTs or FOSS mail systems. Why? Because the cost of keeping up with the Jones made building your mail system far too expensive.
Today, cloud computing in the infrastructure space makes it difficult in the short run to decide and determine what you are going to do. The reality of advertising intercedes at this time, first off you are not going to save 20% moving to the cloud. The reality of the 20% savings mark is NOT that it is spread over all the customers of a provider and is most likely a watermark or high level. It is not an accumulated average across all customers. The other things you have to be aware of is the reality of migration. Migrations are painful at times. They are frustrating at other times. Most organizations struggle with migrations, in part because they buy into the expert culture. Experts are focused on a specific point in time solutions, and in a migration, you need to have someone that can step back and say “there are other ways to solve this problem.”
What was once an easy conversation is now much more complex and much harder to have. Effectively you need to have the migration conversation first, then the cloud conversation. Effectively the new world order should be talk to the person with migration scars first, then figure out if you can make the new world order work for your organization.