Google: main challenge to cloud adoption is hosting mindset

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Barak Regev, head of EMEA cloud platform at Google has told Cloud Pro it is “extremely important that the cloud is not treated as another hosting solution.”

Regev described the perception that the technology can and should be used in the same way as traditional hosting as one of the main challenges to cloud uptake.

“Cloud is fundamentally different [to hosting]. The core added value is about new workloads, new boundaries and new foundations.

“There are customers who just seek to ‘forklift’ their data into the cloud, but they will not benefit from the accessibility and scale [it brings]. They will just have moved their client server from one place to another,” Regev said.

Regev added that enterprises in particular need to overcome the mindset of looking at the cloud as just another traditional hosting service and a replacement for existing, sometimes outdated infrastructure.

“Cloud providers have to explain that,” he said.

In terms of the future of the cloud, Regev believes that new ‘native cloud’ tools will help to drive cloud adoption forward.

“We have seen the emergence of the ultimate CRM system in the cloud – Salesforce. However, that has not happened for ERP yet, or for other business critical systems and I think we are going to see a big trend in this area,” he said.

However, while Regev thinks there will be an increase in cloud uptake as the technology is better understood and more native tools are developed, he does not think on premise IT is going to disappear overnight.

“I am not an extreme guy and I don’t see [its] disappearance in the foreseeable future. There are always certain elements that make sense to keep, from a performance, manageability or core business dependence point of view. Similarly, if you have a custom-built ERP system that has taken you 15 years to stabilise, it is going to take a while to evaluate taking it away.

“It is going to take time for traditional enterprises in particular to detach from their physical hardware,” he said.

Nevertheless, this is not to say it will not happen eventually, Regev claimed, pointing to start-ups that have no physical IT infrastructure of their own.

“Just look at any of these relatively agile companies that are three or four years old ... running on Google Apps for their messaging and collaboration, using cloud servers to hit [millions] of users within a year of being established. I think they will tell you how the future looks and where all this is going,” he concluded.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's deputy editor, specializing in cloud computing, cyber security, data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Deputy Editor, she held the role of Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.