s the race for the presidency heats up, IT leaders would do well to recall the famous catchphrase from Bill Clinton's successful 1992 campaign against George H. W. Bush: "It's the economy, stupid."
That catchphrase is important, because IT economics are important. Especially when it comes to cloud.
Application performance management (APM) for the cloud may turn out to be as much about those economics as it is about customer experience.
Consistently great experiences - but at what price?
Consistently great digital customer experiences are central to success in today's swipe-to-shop markets. If your web or mobile experiences lag, customers will abandon their transactions and might not return to try again. So snappy end-to-end application performance is a must 24x7x365.
The cloud - and PaaS such as AWS and Azure in particular - can be extremely useful for delivering those experiences. With PaaS clouds, you can quickly spin capacity up and down as necessary to maintain performance even as demand either spikes temporarily or sustains a new level of volume. This elastic capacity gives the business agility while letting it avoid high capex investments that may not be rightsized for an uncertain future.
The downside is that cloud costs can spike unexpectedly as well.
Yes, PaaS capacity can cost less than in-house capacity. And, yes, cloud cost increases will probably be somewhat offset by corresponding increases in revenue.
But unanticipated, unpredictable costs are not a financial governance best practice. Plus there's no inherent guarantee that costs will be strictly proportional to revenue. Companies with huge market cap like Facebook and Google may not have to worry about such things. But you do.
Or, to put it in James Carville's crude terms: "It's the economics, stupid."