I’m pretty sure that in larger companies, aside from the internal use of virtual machines that are mis-labeled as cloud computing, the cloud wave is a wave of talk. Instead of telling us how they are using (or want to use) the cloud, many of our clients are still asking us to help them survey the market so that they can evaluate it as part of their overall sourcing approach and technology architecture.
One insurance CEO asked for a summary of the hype vs. reality as we see it. Here’s what I came up with. See what you think.
|Service||Myth||Reality||3 Year Outlook|
|Storage||Unlimited, cheap storage eliminates need to buy new storage devices||Cloud storage not production ready out of the box – security, SLAs, lack of location transparency; some content distribution is used
||Still primarily non-critical storage; some turnkey analytics services emerge; compliance and security still a concern|
|Processing||Just in time compute power can handle peak production loads||Offloading or balancing in-house processing to the cloud is a complex project in itself||Processing and platform services merge as “bare” processing capacity adds little enterprise value|
|Platform||Applications can be moved to the cloud easily to pre-configured software environments||Enterprise systems don’t use standard software “stacks“; few variations are available||.Net/Azure environments grow as more use Azure as primary development environment; several Java platform providers emerge|
|Applications||Industry applications can be implemented in the cloud with little capital outlay||Typical packaged software issues plus lower level of operational, security and SLA control, but lower capital outlay||More competitors in enterprise apps/ERP/CRM field; Much more office automation in the cloud; Some industry apps mature (ie Exigen/Insurance)|
I think the story for the SMB segment is much different, in both the willingness to jump into the cloud and their speed in doing it. Stanton Jones, an SMB CIO, does a nice job summarizing the major vendors cloud offerings in email, office automation and other office apps. For larger firms, until the integration, operational control and security issues are tackled, SMB will lead the way
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