Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Bit of Cloudiness for Cloud Computing?

A long-time networking/security colleague recently asked me an interesting question. Apparently he’s been getting some pushback from enterprises on cloud computing topics and wanted to know if I had been seeing the same thing. To summarize my original, somewhat rambling response: (a) now that you mention it, yes, I’ve been hearing some of this too, and (b) when you think about it, this reaction is not particularly surprising.

Let’s be clear, everything I’m talking about here is anecdotal. I don’t have any meaningful statistics I can share (at least not yet); I haven’t been actively inquiring about this topic (until now). But that doesn’t change the fact that, in passing, more than a handful of people have signaled their disillusionment (to borrow from Gartner) with most things cloud.

As for this making sense, I think there’s more to it than the cloud market simply being at a certain point in the hype cycle. In all its full-blown glory, cloud computing is astoundingly complex. Moreover, cloud technologies and services are still very much in flux. Consequently, I think the issue is that people understand that the transformation to a highly dynamic computing environment featuring everything cloud is going to take a long time – and they just don’t want to hear about it for that bloody long!

Does this mean you should pull your cloud-themed marketing campaign for next quarter? No way. But you may want to temper it a bit – or at least do or say something different than everyone else. Perhaps focus more on practically achievable near-term results instead of pie-in-the-sky vision. Good advice in any case. In the meanwhile, let me know what you’re hearing when it comes to cloud computing. Are enterprises tired of hearing about it already?

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