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Cloud migration may have hit its peak. This year, some companies are reconsidering whether the agility of cloud infrastructure is worth the growing price tag. While “declouding” is not a widespread trend, it is worth tracking as more and more companies explore the possibility of moving back to data centers. The driving force behind this movement is the increasing costs and dependency on major cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, which have become significant components of IT organizations’ strategic plans.

The rising costs of relying heavily on cloud services are pushing the total spend on cloud providers “above the line,” prompting businesses to reevaluate their cloud strategies. As these services have evolved and matured, the costs associated with cloud infrastructure and storage have risen significantly – and they come with a certain degree of technical lock-in. Organizations are now confronted with the challenge of balancing the benefits of scalability, flexibility, and innovation offered by the cloud against the escalating expenses that come with it. We are seeing organizations begin to study and investigate what it would take to shift workloads off the cloud and assessing cost benefits of putting new workloads in the cloud versus running them on-premises.

What is declouding? What provoked it?

Declouding, while still in its nascent stages, is a more recent movement in which organizations are considering shifting workloads from the cloud back to data centers. This potential shift allows companies to leverage existing data center investments, avoid unpredictable cost increases, and benefit from dedicated internal resources leveraging public cloud-like technologies.

Why is declouding suddenly a topic of conversation? Performance, security concerns, and more complex needs are all sensible reasons for questioning one’s continued commitment to the cloud. However, the most likely culprit for the trend is cost. When organizations first began placing workloads in the cloud, the barrier to trying, testing, and launching was very low. Predictable and stable workloads often remained in-house, while cloud testing began on new and often unpredictable workloads. The growth in these “new workloads” and the ongoing investment associated with the cloud has far exceeded what organizations initially expected, becoming a sizeable aspect of companies’ operating costs and eating into profit margins.

By selectively bringing data and applications back in-house, organizations are not only mitigating the financial burden associated with cloud services, but also regaining more control over their IT infrastructure. However, while declouding may appear to be an attractive approach to slow the rate of IT spending growth, it faces significant blockers to gain broader adoption.

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