John Pientka

Are You Thinking of Going to the Cloud Because of FOMO? Don’t!

The Fear of Missing Out

A new study says FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out” is the reason cited by 8 out of 10 IT pros for moving to the cloud. Guess you better do something! Or, maybe not – IT projects still fail at an alarming rate. Research reinforces an old paradigm. Ever hear of the 5P’s?

Cheryl, the CEO, is fuming and unfortunately Jake, the CIO, is in her crosshairs: “Why does it take nine months to roll out the new customer application? How come our competitors can tweak their customer app almost weekly? Why do we have to spend so much capital on all this computer gear? Shouldn’t we be using some kind of cloud services?”

Jake is on the spot. Ever since those new competitors entered the market nothing happens fast enough to meet their onslaught. Cheryl might as well take a number. Marketing is frustrated, sales complain about shrinking commissions and the CFO just keeps turning the budget screws tighter. Jake knows he is behind and has to do something with cloud, but what? Besides the demand for the new-new, he has a ton of legacy apps that have been around since the earth cooked. Move those to the cloud?

Sound familiar? Have you seen it in your company? Well, Cheryl and Jake are not alone. A recent survey sponsored by Commvault indicates the IT professionals are concerned that the train is leaving the station with out them. 81 percent of C-level and other IT leaders are either extremely or very concerned about missing out on cloud advancements.

The survey concludes that cloud FOMO is driving business leaders to move full speed ahead on cloud strategies, with 93 percent of respondents stating that they are moving at least some of their processes to the cloud. In addition, 56 percent of respondents stated that they have moved or intend to move not just some, but all of their processes to the cloud.

Is this the right thing to do? Even if it the right thing, are organizations being too precipitous and jumping into cloud implementations too quickly? Everything seems to focus on speed of implementation. Agile, DevOps, continuous delivery and the fail-fast movement have changed the nature of how IT handles projects. These iterative management methodologies and philosophies are meant to minimize the chances of projects going spectacularly awry, but the fact of the matter is that IT projects still fail.

The statistics are pretty ugly. There are the spectacular over budget flameouts. But increasingly, not meeting business expectations is also seen as failure even if the project is on time and on budget. Depending on the source some would argue that 33% to 65% of cloud migrations fail. Thinking about moving to your own private cloud? Gartner will tell you that 95% of those stumble.

Why? The Commvault study points to some of the biggest barriers preventing moving more apps and data to the cloud:

  • 68 percent cited sheer volume of data
  • 65 percent struggle developing staff skills/acquiring talent to support the migration
  • 55 percent cited policies across cloud and on-premises data as major barriers

But there is another factor that is regularly given short shrift – “5P’s” (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance). Work by CEB validates this for IT projects. Organizations consistently shorten the planning and buy-in cycle in order to get to the implementation phase. Yet CEB’s research shows that shortcuts in the planning phase reduce the value eventually delivered dramatically. In fact, firms that took longer in planning delivered 2.5X the value in the same total time as those that did not.

Feels almost counter intuitive doesn’t it? But, ask any program manager, whether in IT or not, and they will tell you that the seeds of a project that later went off the rails were planted at the beginning. Make no mistake. You are moving to the cloud. Yes, you are under pressure but you have got to do it methodically. We can help. If you are already in the midst and things aren’t where you would like them to be. We can help there as well.

By John Pientka

John Pientka

John is currently the principal of Pientka and Associates which specializes in IT and Cloud Computing.

Over the years John has been vice president at CGI Federal, where he lead their cloud computing division. He founded and served as CEO of GigEpath, which provided communication solutions to major corporations. He has also served as president of British Telecom’s outsourcing arm Syncordia, vice president and general manager of a division at Motorola.

John has earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree from the State University in Buffalo, New York.

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