Riding the digital rollercoaster

"Digital transformation" to collapse into "digital disillusion” before later recovery.


Independent technology consultancy 6point6 Cloud Gateway has warned of faith in “the cloud” peaking in 2019 before collapsing in 2020, then recovering from 2022 with better business analysis, more realistic expectations and a greater appreciation of hybrid cloud environments.

Justin Day, managing director of Cloud Gateway, said: “Essentially, what we’re witnessing – and I see evidence of it every day – is something like Gartner’s Hype Cycle in action, for the cloud.  We’re in the middle of a headlong rush to ‘full cloud’ infrastructures, driven by digital evangelists who convince their leaders that it will all result in amazing business transformation and lower costs.  Their faith is absolute: we hear all too frequently that ‘everything must be in the cloud’, but – equally frequently – we see insufficient objective assessment of what the actual business requirement is.

“I’m expecting that within 12-18 months CEOs will start to feel the heat from their boards, having bet the farm on digital transformations that have then failed to deliver on the promise.  CFOs will be reporting that the cost savings they were expecting have failed to materialise – or, worse, that costs are higher because of the unexpected and to some extent uncontrollable costs.  And, at some point between now and peak cloud, there will be a monstrous data loss of such epic proportions that it will force CISOs to concede that full cloud environments provide insufficient security, governance and control.  There will be an overwhelming, crushing weight of doubt at senior levels.

“The result will be a collapse in faith in the cloud as an amazing business panacea, which might last for two or three years.  But eventually, digital moderates will be able to persuade their CEOs, CFOs and CISOs that, actually, better business analysis and hybrid cloud environments can and will give them the outcomes that they originally expected.”

Day stressed that any collapse in faith will not mean that organisations will return to pre-cloud environments, only that they will rein in sharply and take stock before adjusting their infrastructures and applications to meet better-analysed needs.  “It’ll be an awkward and uncomfortable trough for those who advocated ‘full cloud’,” he said.  “But, because every organisation will then adjust on its own timescale, it will constitute an opportunity for the likes of 6point6, which can help them to recover.  Meantime, we’re focused on giving our customers the right, sometimes tough advice now, ensuring they take a steady approach to the cloud with proper analysis and execution.”


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