Head in The Cloud

Pardon my silence, I’ve had my head in the cloud…

Everything’s going to The Cloud1

– Everyone

This pseudo-quote is an obvious overstatement, but not by much. How close is it?

It will be a hybrid model, of course. Few if any medium-to-large organizations will end up running all their IT in the cloud. My guess is that overall cloud coverage (such a bountiful metaphor) will be somewhere in the 60-80% range. I also think it will peak and then diminish somewhat as some over-optimistic use cases return to solid ground (the metaphor just keeps on giving).

Whatever the overall adoption, suffice to say this is a huge deal, and it’s happening super fast. My bet is that most organizations’ IT services will reach somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% cloud-based in the next 2-5 years.

The difference between supporting IT in the cloud and supporting IT in the client/server modality we now know–even with virtualization, SAN, etc.–is about as big as the difference between client/server and mainframes.

The current client/server mode of doing IT has taken over 25 years to get to this point. A shift that huge to the cloud in 5 years will create a major knowledge vacuum as technologists and IT managers try to understand the new IT and how to make strategic decisions about it.

Sooner or later, everyone in IT will need to retool bigtime just to continue to be able to provide the same service levels they did just a few years ago (i.e. get paid the same). Yes, I think the coming change will be this big and this fast. So I’ve decided that for me the sooner will be no later than now.

My new focus is on Microsoft Azure training and certification. I spent some quality time with AWS this past fall, and will continue that learning. But I believe Azure will best equip me to help customers bridge to the cloud from System Center Configuration Manager and other Microsoft on-premises IT systems. I’m especially looking forward to exploring the synergies between SCCM and InTune, and the coupling of System Center Service Manager and Azure Automation around Powershell.

I’ll be writing more about this sea change and my own journey with it.


Notes:

  1. We’re talking about Cloud IT. That is, the “public” cloud, which is the term used for the large datacenters around the globe used by major providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft to host virtual computers, storage, applications and other IT stuff. So, “going to the cloud” means migrating services and workloads from local datacenters hosted within a given organization–a “private” cloud–to a public cloud. The resulting mix of private and public hosted services is referred to as the hybrid cloud.
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