Are we headed to a world of "Nothing but cloud?” Earlier this year, I was involved in Juniper’s cloud transformation and during that process, I saw an interesting trend in the cloud space today.
Juniper’s cloud journey started with a question of "Why cloud?" Burdened with a large and aging data center footprint where costs were rising and services were slow to be delivered, we wanted to see how we could leverage cloud services to better support the business. We went through a period to explore the various cloud offerings from several cloud service providers. We vetted different solutions to build up our capabilities in both expertise and tool sets to effectively consume and support the cloud services. Our mindset at this time was still "Why cloud?" meaning on-prem was still our default for deployment but we would consider the cloud solution when it made sense.
Why Not Cloud?
Once we got our arms wrapped around the many flavors of cloud services and have built up our capabilities, we wanted to accelerate adoption. We flipped the question and changed our mindset to "Why not cloud?" Cloud became our default deployment method and we would only consider hosting things on-prem if it could not go to the cloud. It took a lot of effort to get to a point where we were confident in the cloud solutions and our own capabilities to effectively consume and support the environment.
Nothing But Cloud?
It is undeniable the amount of cloud applications and services that are available today. Offerings are available in many different forms. You have software companies starting to offer cloud-based versions of their on-prem solutions. There are traditional hardware companies, such as Juniper Networks, offering a cloud security solution called SkyATP. And off course, you have a flood of companies that only provide cloud-based services.
The interesting trend I noticed is how companies are steering their customers toward the cloud solutions. It’s not surprising that new services, capabilities, and versions will only be available as cloud-based solutions. For example, if you go to Adobe's website today, you will only see a cloud solution for the latest version of their creative software. As companies continue to invest in this area, we will see more and more offering "nothing but cloud" solutions.
I don't mean to suggest that we will end up with 100% of our infrastructure in the cloud - but I do think these trends suggest that enterprises and consumers will have less choice over time. I recently participated as a guest speaker on a podcast where I go into this in more detail. It’s about having options and choices that will best fit your unique needs and something that we should all keep an eye on.