Cloud adoption appears to have reached a plateau, which means a resurgence of punditry regarding why you should make the leap, why your fears are unfounded, and why you’re simply still "not getting it" if you haven’t migrated to the cloud yet.
And while some of these discussions will have value and advance adoption, some are simply downright oversimplifying the concerns still held by many organizations.
Consider the immediate distillation of "control" in the cloud down to "data at rest". The bulk of these discussion with respect to control revolves around data at rest – where it is, how secure it is, how it grows. There is no discussion about data in flight, or applications, or the infrastructure necessary to provide for the delivery and reception of data to and from origination points (end-users, applications).
Control is not just about where the data ends up, or where it resides, or who’s handling it. The driver of a car doesn’t just control where the passengers end up, he controls the entire journey – from end-to-end. He’s got control over how fast he drives, when and if he chooses to adhere to signals and signs, and which direction he goes.
That’s control, and that’s the loss of control implicit in outsourcing your entire IT infrastructure to someone else.
Like public transportation, it is shared and thus costs less. It has pre-defined routes (which you cannot really influence) and you don’t have any control over how you arrive at your ultimate destination. If the driver goes too slow, you’re late. You’ll still get there but the consequences fall solely on your shoulders, not the driver.
Reality is that right now cloud computing is perched on the cusp of a second-generation of offerings; offerings with services that will, one hopes, put the control over data in flight back into the hands of the people who are ultimately responsible and held accountable for not only the data arriving at the right destination, but doing so without compromising security or performance.
In order for a larger percentage of in-house application outsourcing to come to fruition, the majority of infrastructure capabilities and functions upon which organizations rely must be available in the cloud – as services. This means careful attention to in-flight data handling from its origination (who, from what device, and from where) to its processing by the application (it is free of malicious code or malware) to its final destination. The infrastructure services necessary to prioritize data (traffic) and cleanse and secure that data must be in place if IT is to outsource more fully to the cloud. Such services by and large today do not exist, but they will need to in order for providers to push past the plateau we appear to be reaching.