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Cloud Complexity: Seven Ways Cloud Complexity Hurts

By Dick Weisinger

The cloud computing market continues on  a tear and is expected to reach $53.3 billion in revenues by 2021, according to 451 Research.  90 percent of businesses are using some form of the cloud, and 451 Research forecasts that by the end of next year 60 percent of business workloads will at least partially interact with the cloud.

But as more and more data and processes migrate into the cloud, the simplicity and elasticity that the cloud promotes gets more difficult to attain.  One SaaS app may be a snap, but as the number of applications grow as well as the number of cloud vendors that get involved in the solution, the complexity begins to grow rapidly.

What kind of complexity?  Joe Kinsella, CTO at CloudHealth, came up with an excellent list of seven (

  • Complexity of Knowledge – coming to grips with the new technologies, services, processes and methodologies of the cloud isn’t easy.
  • Complexity of Dynamic Infrastructure – consumption-based pricing is a new concept, and it means that infrastructure may not persist for long times and frequently morph based on whatever current demands are.  Keeping track of it all is hard.
  • Complexity of New Tools – Gone are the many familiar tools used by on-Premise IT staff.  There are new consoles, APIs and vendors to deal with.
  • Complexity of Rapid Innovation – It used to be Internet Speed.  Now it is Cloud Speed. Vendors like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new features, technologies and tools at a blinding pace.  While there are benefits to evolving technology, there are also definitely associated growth pains.
  • Complexity of Management – Aggregating and managing information from multiple clouds, apps, storage and monitoring tools is hard.
  • Complexity of Distributed Ownership – Cloud point solutions are now frequently purchased and managed not only by IT, but also by departments and groups.  That makes it difficult to be able to centrally manage costs, availability, performance and security.
  • Complexity of Continuous Optimization – Because cloud configurations are often frequently changing, efficiently managing costs and resource allocation becomes difficult.
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