Beware the Frankencloud!!!

Aug. 2, 2019
A Frankencloud is when a company deploys multiple cloud applications on different cloud platforms.


Ever heard the term? Neither had we, but Rootstock CMO Tom Brennan is fond of using it. Tom recently presented during the Smart Industry webinar “Enterprise Resource Planning &The 5 Categories of Digital Transformation” And we wanted to learn more about this monstrous term. Take a look…

Smart Industry: What is a Frankencloud? 

Tom: A Frankencloud is when a company deploys multiple cloud applications on different cloud platforms. Each cloud uses different tools for reporting, workflow, customization and integration. The clouds usually have different user interfaces and are not integrated with each other very well. Worst of all, the databases are separated, making reporting and analytics more difficult. Concepts like the “360-degree customer view” and the “single version of the truth” are difficult to attain.

Smart Industry: How does a Frankencloud come about?

Tom: It is the modern manifestation of what we used to call “islands of information” in the old on-premises computing world, where companies would have multiple, separated systems with multiple customer records strewn around a company. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself. Cloud applications have crept into companies in phases, usually on a department by department basis; for example, CRM, HR, finance, operations, etc. Many companies have allowed departments or functional leads to deploy a mixture of cloud applications residing on different cloud platforms. In effect, they have created their own bolted together monster.

Smart Industry: How can an enterprise avoid developing a Frankencloud?

Tom: Most companies could do themselves a favor by establishing a clear cloud-platform strategy. Years ago, companies would standardize on a hardware, operating system and database technology stack to help combat this problem. Today, companies should think about standardizing on a cloud platform that can help eliminate the integration, data fragmentation, system administration and multi-toolset problem. For instance, our view is that CRM and ERP should be on the same platform and share the same data model. CRM and ERP house the bulk of the data, the biggest processes and a large user population. Combining CRM and ERP on one platform goes a long way to solving the majority of the problem.

Smart Industry: If you’ve already developed one, how to you fix a Frankencloud?

Tom: The first step is to stop the madness! Most companies are still in the process of moving applications from an on-premises environment to the cloud, so they should consider adding any new or replacement applications to an existing cloud platform if possible. For instance, Salesforce CRM was one of the first cloud applications adopted at many companies. There are thousands of complementary applications available on the Salesforce Platform that share the same infrastructure, system administration and tools etc., including Rootstock’s Cloud ERP application. So, my advice would be to try to limit cloud proliferation and take advantage of the cloud platforms you already have in place.

Want more from Tom? Attend “Enterprise Resource Planning &The 5 Categories of Digital Transformation” on demand. Learn more here.