Clearing the air

How to bridge the gap between cloud expectations & reality

Everything you’ve heard about the cloud is true. The stuff you haven’t is essential.

Benefits like cost savings, streamlined performance, and organizational transformation have enterprises rushing to the cloud. And rightly so, it’s how modern businesses capitalize on new opportunities, get to market faster, and gain a competitive advantage.

In fact, most organizations have at least one application running in the cloud, and a rise in hybrid cloud adoption suggests companies are moving multiple applications to an orchestrated cloud system.

So, those great expectations must be panning out, right? Not exactly.

Expectations don’t always meet reality.

The truth is, when companies get to the cloud, many find that it doesn’t always live up to the hype.

Are cloud benefits overstated? Not necessarily. What’s more likely is that realizing them takes a lot more strategy, direction, and groundwork than folks anticipate.

Either way, it can be frustrating and disappointing to go from sky-high expectations to a more tempered reality.

So, what does that mean for you?

The good news? It’s all solvable.

To help, Lenovo has partnered with Intel® to identify three of the biggest expectations many organizations have when moving workloads to the cloud – and the (sometimes harsh) truths that cause them to fall short of reaching them.

Plus, we’ll tell you how cloud experts bridge those gaps and find success. Because a healthy dose of clarity can help you right-size your expectations and find a smarter, clearer, and more seamless path to the cloud.

But first: The most important truth of all

Every organization is unique, with different business needs, challenges, teams, and IT ecosystems. What works for one organization won’t always work for yours. So, as you explore these truths, remember that your journey to the cloud follows its own path.

Sound good? Then read on…

Let’s clear a few things up.

Scroll down or choose a chapter to start clarifying your cloud expectations.


The truth about cloud savings

Keeping the bottom line top of mind

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The truth about cloud performance

Getting applications humming

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The truth about organizational change

Easing organizational anxiety

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1. The truth about cloud savings

The cloud may make it rain, but maybe not at first.

The expectation

The squeeze is real. With bigger and bigger slices of IT budgets going to maintaining old infrastructure, there’s little left for new initiatives.

So, when companies move to the cloud, they expect immediate savings. That it’ll be easy to manage and help save on resources. That bills will be lower and more consistent. That new infrastructure will hold value for years.

All you have to do is drop the weight, shift workloads to the cloud, and start saving. Right?

The truth

Well, it’s a lot like replacing a gas-guzzler with an electric car. There may be some up-front sticker shock before you see savings. What that looks like for your organization depends on how much modernization you need, and what infrastructure will carry you through the next 3-5 years.

Plus, leaving legacy systems behind may require refactoring workloads for the cloud – whether public, private, or hosted – which requires upfront time and resources, and maybe even external professional services.

How you can bridge the gap

Instead of immediate savings, stay focused on the total cost of ownership (TCO), and partner with cloud experts who’ll examine all the factors involved, like your current ecosystem, soft costs, and future needs to come to a personalized TCO overview.

And look for ways to ease that upfront cost, like taking advantage of a pay-per-utilization infrastructure. That kind of setup allows you to get started with the big, beautiful system you know you’ll need in the future, but only pay for what you use right now.

Check out Lenovo's TruScale™, a pay-for-what-you-use data center that flexes with the demands of your business.

The clear takeaway

This isn’t an instant jackpot moment. The truth is, there can be some serious sticker shock. You’ve got to look at TCO.

2. The truth about cloud performance

It’s the cloud. It should just work (and work fast), right?

The expectation

Old technology can’t keep up with today’s complex applications and increasing data demands, but the cloud?

Companies expect fast, seamless performance. Workloads that lift and shift to the public cloud in a snap. Multi-clouds that talk to each other. A new, frictionless ecosystem that plays nice with existing investments and makes organizations more agile and faster to market.

And hey, if it checks off all performance requirements, it’ll meet compliance.

The truth

Reaping the performance benefits of the cloud can take some groundwork and patience.

You may have to refactor applications to perform as cloud-native. Because of the time and effort that takes, you may need to take it one application at a time, which means you might not see the total performance impact right away.

And as for roadblocks, proceed with caution:

Vendor Lock-In
Many cloud vendors are locked into partnerships, so keeping the technology you’re invested in may not be an option. Lenovo delivers maximum choice, and solutions just-right for your business.

Data sovereignty can create hurdles in your strategy, and you may find that your preferred cloud deployment doesn’t meet your compliance requirements.

How you can bridge the gap

Call us a broken record, but a personalized cloud strategy can really come in handy – one that identifies your performance needs, gaps, and compliance requirements from the start and points you to the right hardware infrastructure for now and the future.

A seamless hybrid cloud solution may be the ticket. And there's no need to change your tech religion. A solution-agnostic cloud partner should accommodate your ecosystem, not the other way around.

And remember, there’s the option to get set up with a bigger system but only use (and pay for) what you need today. All that extra power is ready to go as you scale.

Check out Lenovo's ThinkAgile™, infrastructure that’s fully integrated with whatever software you already rely on.

The clear takeaway

There’s no magic switch that migrates your organization and applications to the cloud. It can take some groundwork and patience.

3. The truth about organizational change

When you’re in the cloud, can everyone rise together?

The expectation

Many organizations fear obsolescence – they believe that if they don’t embrace the cloud, they’ll be vapor.

So, the cloud is seen as a silver bullet that makes everyone’s lives easier – one that’ll help IT drive growth and support lines of business better and faster.

What’s more, many execs assume that their IT team has what it takes to get them to the cloud.

The truth

Change is scary, but the only thing scarier than doing something big is doing nothing at all.

Putting new systems and processes in place may add to organizational anxiety, at least for a bit, as people get used to a new way of working. And you may have to face the reality that the people you have on the team may not be the right ones to make the change. Additional training or staff changes may be required.

How you can bridge the gap

Breathe. It’s not about avoiding the fear, it’s about working through it intelligently.

Of course, a customized strategy built for your ecosystem, goals, and capabilities helps you and your team make measured decisions and eases some of that anxiety. An experienced cloud partner can identify where training or changes are needed for a smoother transition.

And as always, transparency is key. Your cloud partner should be very clear about the road ahead so that you can be realistic with your organization.

Check out Lenovo’s Hybrid Cloud Workshop, a hands-on strategy session that helps qualified organizations design a step-by-step strategy to keep everyone on the same page.

The clear takeaway

Change, even for the better, is hard. Expect some anxiety as teams embrace all new systems and processes.

A smarter approach to running in the cloud Lenovo helps make your path clear.

With us, you get more than a piece of hardware. You get a partner. And planning services that balance security, scalability, and agility. And a system designed around your needs – public, private, or hosted – that works within whatever technology ecosystem you're currently running.

And we help put it all into motion with extra hands when and where you need them – all tailored to your desired business outcomes, workloads, migration planning, team skills, and budget.

Oh, and you can count on us to always give it to you straight, especially when things get complicated. Because clarity is what we’re all about.

Learn more about Lenovo Hybrid Cloud