When it comes to all things cloud, David Linthicum is your guy. An executive, consultant, writer and public speaker in the field of cloud computing, he was named the No. 1 industry influencer by a 2016 Apollo Research report. Mediaplanet touched base with the tech guru on why and how savvy companies are making the migration.

Boom to business

For businesses, agility is both the primary objective and major advantage of cloud computing. Successful cloud migration offers “the ability to move quicker, react to changes made to the business, grow without limits.” Linthicum says, “The ability to change at the ‘speed of need’ and the ability to expand quickly to accommodate the business is where the real money is made with cloud computing.”

Public vs. private

“The ability to change at the ‘speed of need’ and the ability to expand quickly to accommodate the business is where the real money is made with cloud computing.”

Unless it’s a necessity for your business, Linthicum advises against the hybrid cloud. Though it allows for choice, since “you have a paired public and private cloud and can put workloads on whatever platform,” Linthicum points out that “in most cases, the public cloud provider can provide you with what you need, at a fraction of the cost and risk of dealing with private clouds that are part of hybrid clouds.” Private clouds, he adds, “are limiting in capabilities and also require that you have your own hardware and software footprint.”

Safe space

Public clouds can also offer a ready-built security structure. These enterprises “provide security services that you can leverage right from their cloud” and are already committing time and money to keeping data safe. “Breaches are largely caused by enterprise IT not paying attention to the patches and fixes they need to proactively remove vulnerabilities. If you have a proactive security system in place and automate much of what can be automated, the hackers will move on to easier prey.”

The right stuff

Cloud migration is a challenging task for any size business. To prepare for the journey, Linthicum recommends hiring IT professionals with the right skillsets, including, among many roles, “cloud architects, cloud developers and cloud operations specialists.

“At the end of the day,” he argues, “success will be determined largely around who’s around to make the right decisions.”