Cloud and the ‘Existing X’ Dilemma

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Anyone designing an IT strategy that incorporates cloud is faced with the question of what to do with existing assets including apps, infrastructure IT systems, processes, skills, etc. Some will tell you that the only way to handle the “existing X” parts of your strategy is to forget about them and allow those investments to languish. They’ll tell you they’re incompatible with a cloud world and operating model. Let that sink in. You have potentially billions of dollars invested in your current IT infrastructure, thousands of applications generating billions of dollars of bottom-line impact, and thousands of employees who’ve never touched anything cloud-related or public.

When you ask proponents of the “all assets left behind” strategy the question “How do I pull this off?”, they’ll hand wave and say “just look at Netflix’s architecture” five times in a single meeting, and then try to sell you a platform and consulting services to migrate your existing apps to their stack for 10 times what you spent on software licensing for that platform. 

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