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Cloud Talk

Andre Yee

Is Cloud Computing Entering the Trough of Disillusionment?

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With all the hype surrounding cloud computing, it was notable to hear Brocade CMO, John McHugh declare that the adoption of cloud computing is "overhyped". Let's face it, when the marketing guy tells you to temper your expectations, you should probably take notice.

Is this just a needed dose of reality or does it suggest that cloud computing is entering what Gartner calls the "trough of disillusionment" in the hype cycle. For those who may be unfamiliar, the Gartner hype cycle is the five phased progression of market response to the introduction of new technology. You can read about the hype cycle here but as it relates to cloud computing, it's not difficult to see how it may have reached the "peak of inflated expectations". The question is whether cloud computing is now entering the trough of disillusionment where the naysayers come out to roost and it becomes "uncool" to tout the cloud.

McHugh's comment is just one data point but maybe we should take notice. After all, check out the Google Trends on "cloud computing" and you'll notice that the trendline appears to have flattened out over the past 12 months or so. A more subjective measure may be your own response when you read another article touting the benefits of cloud computing. I suspect at least some of us may be a little fatigued from reading yet another article (or blog post) about how cloud computing is revolutionizing the industry. Yeah, right - come back when you can tell me something interesting.

If cloud computing is indeed entering the trough of disillusionment, I'm betting that it'll be a shortlived stay. Here's why -

First, while cloud computing has the been the buzz at geek inspired, cocktail parties in the past three years, running applications in the cloud has been around for a decade. Since Salesforce told the world to nix running on-premise software, SaaS has become mainstream and mature.

Second, aspects of cloud computing isn't revolutionary at all. I'll maintain that the idea of private internal clouds utilizing virtualization is simply a natural extension and evolution of the corporate datacenter. This means it's easier for organizations to consume, digest and measure value - ultimately this equates to IT spend that is easier to justify.

Third, cloud computing is as much about the business model as it is about technology... in fact, it eludes a hard definition. And it's lack of definition will help sustain momentum out of the trough since it'll be redefined as something that is both palatable and validated by the masses. As the old IT adage goes - if at first you don't succeed...just redefine success.

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Not if you base it on the amount of VC being thrown around.

I was presenting last week about BPM & Cloud and got a great question. "Is Cloud Computing like the DotCom era".

My ans: YES

DotCom - web, brochureware, ecommerce, consumer
Cloud - corporate, apps, business meets consumer (social)


Andre Yee blogs about cloud computing, SaaS, Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies that matter to businesses.

Andre Yee

Andre Yee is an entrepreneur and technologist with nearly 20 years of experience in the business of technology.

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