I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues

There’s a well-known blues standard by the name “Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad,”) and it goes like this:

A storm descending over a tiny village on an islandThey call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad
They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad
Wednesday's worse, and Thursday's also sad

-  T-Bone Walker. “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad.)” Black & White Records

While T-Bone Walker (the original artist) was lamenting the loss of his love, one can only imagine that Nirvanix customers shared the same sentiment when they discovered that their trusted cloud provider was going out of business. The revelation on September 17, 2013, that the cloud storage company Nirvanix would shut down within two weeks has brought into the spotlight the potential pitfalls of cloud-based services. While the long-term effects of the closure have yet to be determined, immediate focus has been on backup and transition strategies for cloud services.

A deeper look at the customer horror stories surrounding cloud providers reveals a consistent theme. Many customers rely on using only a single cloud provider, which is a clear business risk.  There are other compelling reasons for organizations to consider multiple providers for any outsourced service. In a world where business agility is crucial and where lack of innovation has caused the decline or demise of many companies (for example, Blackberry), it is critical that organizations considering cloud-based services continually monitor the overall market for new technologies and services that will propel their businesses forward.

Unfortunately, backup and disaster recovery is just one component of the product life cycle that has been disregarded as organizations shift customer relationship management systems, content, and other applications to the cloud. Customers thus far have heard only that “The cloud will save you money”. Organizations must plan beyond the initial move to the cloud, developing roadmaps and contingency planning that not only evaluate worst-case disaster scenarios but also consider the implications of switching cloud providers in the event that a superior service emerges.

The analyst brief, “They Call It Stormy Monday,” explores some of the hidden costs associated with maintaining congruence in the cloud.  It looks beyond business continuity and exposes the reality of the cloud services market: companies will fail, services will change, and innovation will occur. Any one of these factors could seriously undermine an organization’s cloud strategy. It also examines the additional costs that should be factored into a cloud deployment, costs that many organizations are currently ignoring. No one looks forward to a “Stormy Monday”; however, with a little planning, customers can start singing “Here Comes the Sun”.

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