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Why are so many disappointed with the cloud?

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A recent survey by Symantec found that, "Few organizations have moved to cloud computing -- the delivery of computing as a service from remote centers -- and of those that have, many are disappointed with the results." What do you think?

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  • Just for a starter. Isn't it the same as buying the most expensive soccer shoes and then wonder why your soccer skills don't improve?

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    People think the Cloud solves their problems. It doesn't. It's just a platform.

  • PaaS is really just an IT convenience - more interesting to a startup than to an existing mature IT organisation, perhaps. SaaS is going to be a long evolution. And all cloud offerings will require SLAs for their cloud access from their internet service provider - for this reason we can expect consumer-focused cloud services to be among the first to be successful...

  • For the same reason the not-so-handymen blame their hammers - they forget that the cloud is just a tool, how good or bad really depends on you.

  • I think cloud will be a progressive evolution (specially IaaS and SaaS). In many IT technologies, the first step (after buzz) is a disappointment... But the trend will be a high conversion of companies.

  • Apart from the new technological challenges that the cloud brings (not so mature technology, new design constraints) the real showstoppers are about human factors and legacy. Being reminded of ones problems and finding out that it wasn't really that easy anyhow of course leads to disappointment. Please listen to Barry Schwartz: The secret to happiness is low expectations, because then you can occasionally experience pleasant surprises.

  • Most people I speak to are cautiously optmistic on Cloud, so this is an interesting survey result.

    Reading the Reuter's article on the Symantec survey, the article points out the 2 main concerns from those surveyed are (1) Lack of Staff (2) Security.

    #1 makes sense because Cloud is a paradigm shift and would not expect your internal employees or staff to understand it without proper training. However, if you follow a true cloud-sourcing philsophy, why does your staff even need to know the technicalities of the Cloud? The Cloud concept is to simplify the everyday use and operations of business systems through the use of Cloud approach, so Cloud Users don't need to know how the Cloud operates or works, that's the whole point of Cloud! Cloud is an "outsourcing" technique of IT assets so you can focus on true business problems, so I wouldn't expect all my staff to fully understand the nuiances of the Cloud we consume from.

    #2-- Security is always going to be an uhill battle and no surprise here. Right now there a lot of misperception and misunderstandings of Cloud security, but 10 years from now when Cloud is everywhere, we are still going to be talking about Security as a concern. This one simply won't ever go away as a concern, and rightfully so, since we always need to protect information.

    I'm curious if there were any positives from the survey? Improved ROI? Better utilization and efficieny of employees/staff? Faster time to market? New revenue channels? I only ask because the naysayers are so quick to jump on any negative article on Cloud.

  • Apart from the platform, these are the apps related questions that customers are asking - possible deterrents if not responded well...

    1) Integration: will it integrate with your existing apps - such as Microsoft office - emails, word, excel, other applications
    2) Customization: Will they customize, as their application will be generic. and how much will they change for such customization
    3) Cross platform Compatibility: Operating Systems and Browsers
    4) Mobility Compatibility: Does it have a mobile interface.
    5) Backup: what kind of backup is available and the data format
    6) Upgrade: will they charge of upgrades and what happens to the old data- is there a compatibility
    7) Tenure: Usually when there is a boom companies offer apps - when the market goes down will they still continue to support the app
    8) Services - SLA: what are the terms and how much will they charge. Training,self support, customer support, business consulting
    9)Security - a must

  • Too high exepectations are not surprising for any technology or paradigm in its early evolution stages. Probably there will be less expectations and less disappointment when Cloud concepts and technologies will mature. I agree with Emiel and Tarak that a lot depends on the way organizations use the Cloud Concepts and Technologies.
    For more information read my posts: Hyped Cloud Technologies http://avirosenthal.blogspot.com/2011/08/hyped-cloud-technologies.html
    and SaaS is going Mainstream http://avirosenthal.blogspot.com/2009/01/saas-is-going-mainstream.html

  • First, we should ask ourselves about which cloud we are talking. It looks like being the public cloud. Where SMB's are embracing cloud more quickly, larger enterprises try it out, but as the survey sais, the IT departments are not wildly enthusiastic. It's different with the business people. They seem to use public cloud when they do not get from IT what they want. I call that "shadow IT".
    But why does IT not like the public cloud. In my mind this is related to the lack of "transparency". What I mean is on the one hand the lack of information on the security, SLA, high availability etc. precautions being taken, and on the other, the lack of visibility as to whom participates in the "supply chain" of the service. The inability to contact the supplier in case of issues is another issue that IT departments don't like. They have to give services to the business, and do not feel they can rely on the public cloud suppliers.

  • Because the trough of disillusionment is almost inevitable for technologies that are significant and game changing. A great concept -> huge hype -> immature products -> disillusionment... some get beyond disillusionment and actually work...which is the ground I think cloud computing is traversing right now. SaaS is past that... while PaaS and IaaS is still making its way through the mire.

  • One thing is being overlooked here when I read through the comments, and thats how we see cloud based apps delivered to the user.

    The problem at the moment is many cloud apps are running in a browser, which means you get all the usual problems associated with that. Soumadeep makes a number of great points, all of which at the moment raise concerns about the cloud to business. For many, the cloud delivers a user experience that is not as good as a traditional "desktop" application, so there should be no surprise why business and users are dissapointed.

    However, the cloud is a platform, an IT enabler, nothing more so you must make sure you know what you are using it for. That being said, when we start to see applications that use it properly, and I mean "apps" really, not confined within a web browser, then business will be more excited.

    I think Windows 8 and the whole "App" idea that is being pushed will really see the Cloud being adopted by more and more. Imagine cloud apps that essentially look and feel and are "desktop" applications, installed on your machine and devices. Here you combine all the benefits of the cloud with real applications, and all the integration capabilities that may bring. We will soon see businesses and users getting far more excited about the cloud once we move to that "model".

  • It looks to me like the survey referred to Infrastructure as a Service and not SaaS, not really.

    Then in terms of adoption, "While three out of four organizations have adopted or are currently adopting cloud services such as backup, storage and security..."
    That is not bad though. I didn't know that they so much adopted.

    "Concerns about security and a lack of expertise among IT staff": that says that there is resistance in IT to change; well it makes their/our jobs volatile. But I don't think business is concerned about that.

    The true concern I would say is that someone has to manage the applications in the cloud. You cannot migrate your apps to the cloud without managing them any longer. I am not sure if that come out from the survey.

    "It requires organizations to change how they approach IT." Agian, that's not really a big concern for the business side.

    "Symantec found that security was the number-one concern of organizations". Is Symantec sending us a message here?

    The Cloud is still immature. But still, it can provide processing, storage, backups in scalable maaner, on demand, for test, for a time, for quick developments, at controllable costs for most businesses.

    www.enterprise-architecture-matters.co.uk


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