13 years, 5 months ago

The Cloud Hype – Addressing Ground Realities

Link: http://eamitabh.blogspot.com/2010/11/cloud-fatigue.html

“I am really getting tired of this Cloud Hype!” said a senior IT executive of a large, multi-national organisation. We were sitting in his freshly painted offices in London and going over his mid-term technology roadmap. It was a typical cold, cloudy November afternoon in London and the technology outlook from this senior executive certainly did not lift the weather gloom.

He is a well-respected, senior operator who has seen IT industry evolve over a period of time both as consultant, vendor and consumer of IT. His opinion carries enough weight and credibility for me to take this seriously. So I get to the edge of my seat and urge him to explain his fatigue of Cloud. I should have known better what was coming next….

Curious who this person was? Well it does not matter. Because I know you have already met this person. This person is called “Cloud Sceptic” and this person is meeting us more often in the last few months. Don’t you think so? 

If I analyse my earlier quoted conversation, his source of frustration was coming in equal mix from a number of vendors, press, websites, bloggers and to some extent his own technical staff. He has seen a remarkable amount of slides, brochures, whitepapers on the promise of the benefits of Cloud approach over past year or so. His vendors have taken him out (too many times according to him) to executive lunches, breakfasts and dinner roundtable where consultants keep on outlining bright new operating models, technologies, service partnerships etc.

However he has seen little of this promise being realistically turned into something tangible. He has seen two annual budget and resourcing planning cycles come and go but his team has still not succeeded in proposing single business case based on Cloud approach or technologies which genuinely moves his business forward, save him operating costs or achieve innovation in true sense. Every business comes with health warnings on substantial migration and change of current operational, technology, resourcing, financing and forecasting models. In fragile economic climate he simply has not been given enough confidence to convince business to take this leap of faith.

I am sure the readers will have a number of views on how he can turn this situation around and what he is not doing correctly etc. etc. But is it not the time for us the technologist to be a bit more honest and acknowledge that Cloud Computing as a paradigm needs to be explained, defined, and justified as an approach to genuinely help and move the business forward or help the business sustain in today’s demanding economic climate?

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the possibilities, opportunities and advantages of Cloud model and innovative new tools being launched every week. And I do genuinely believe that we are shifting a gear up in the right direction of maturity for the IT industry with the Cloud based offerings. However, I also sincerely believe that we as technology leaders should start thinking about the issues of what Cloud means as a change for operational, technology, resourcing, financing aspects of business. Then we need to start delivering all encompassing solutions addressing these concerns to truly offer a sustainable Cloud offering which helps the business sustain and go forward. The longer we do not do this we run the risk of adding to this “Cloud Sceptic” community.

Update on 2 Dec 2010; Some good review, feedback and analysis of this blog post in CIO Network Linked in Group