When Uber announced in February that it was ditching its on-premises data centres and moving its business to the cloud with Oracle, IT professionals around the country would not have been in the least surprised.
Here was another example of an organisation admitting it’s not in the business of running data centres. As its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi put it, Uber is in the business of “revolutionising the way people and products move across continents and through cities”. Not forgetting that the deal with Oracle aims to “maximise innovation while reducing overall infrastructure costs” for Uber.
There it is in a nutshell. Cloud computing can help businesses slash costs while becoming amazing for the very reason they exist in the first place. If only it were that simple.
Uber’s shift from running its own data centres to moving to cloud services is significant. As Steen Dalgas, senior cloud economist at cloud infrastructure firm Nutanix suggests, data centres have become “increasingly expensive and complex to run”. Volatile energy costs and coping with the scale of generated data have made running data centres untenable, which is part of the reason the cloud seems so attractive.
But businesses must be careful. The image of cloud computing as a cheaper alternative is fair enough – to a point. Dalgas talks about the sticking plaster analogy and highlights how one of Nutanix’s customers started a cloud transformation three years ago, only to determine it was “too difficult and expensive to go to the public cloud”.