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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

100-day Cloud Watch Update: Surveys, Adoption & Hype

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As I mentioned on the 12th, I'm dedicating 100-days worth of research sessions to explore "enterprise cloud computing considerations".  My first topic is adoption trends:

  • What are organizations doing, or planning to do, with cloud computing?
  • What types of cloud computing environments are being used, considered and/or ignored?
  • What industries are leading and lagging adoption?
  • What use cases are being fulfilled, in part or in full, by cloud computing offerings?
  • What are the major drivers and expectations?

I'm starting by surveying the cloud computing surveys.  Certainly, I expect to see security noted as a big concern, and operating expense versus capital outlay as a driver.  In fact, I'll cover each of those points in later days, as business risk and economic considerations, respectively.   What I'm looking for in my survey of the surveys are observations, trends and even predictions, beyond the headlines.

The first (wildly time-consuming) thing I did was narrow down the body of work by date, source and depth of available information.  My curated list of surveys/papers:

Next, I began working through the list.  Given my background and primary readership, I started with the enterprise architecture focused research.  My observations to date:

As well, I posted a few other Cloud Watch items:

This week, I'll continue working the above list.  If a finding in any of the above strikes you as important, surprising, or ridiculous, please share. 

Speaking of ridiculous, did you see the over zealous reaction to Gartner's recent 2012 prediction?  First, the prediction:

"By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Several interrelated trends are driving the movement toward decreased IT hardware assets, such as virtualization, cloud-enabled services, and employees running personal desktops and notebook systems on corporate networks.  The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee's desk, will not go away. However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry. For example, enterprise IT budgets will either be shrunk or reallocated to more-strategic projects; enterprise IT staff will either be reduced or reskilled to meet new requirements, and/or hardware distribution will have to change radically to meet the requirements of the new IT hardware buying points."

For days afterwards, Twitter and the Industry Press were full of "Gartner says: 20% of businesses will be fully in the cloud by 2012".  Of course, when you read past the first sentence, you'll see Gartner is really calling out different ownership models: "However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry." 

I'm not disagreeing with Gartner's prediction or the critical point on how a re-allocation of funding can support optimization and innovation.  What I am saying is beware the hype.  Read past the headlines.  As Gene Leganza points out: "[to be a trusted business advisor] architects must have a thorough understanding of the facts, subtleties, hype, and misinformation surrounding cloud computing..."



Follow the 100-day Cloud Watch on Twitter.

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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