Much like celebrities stalked by paparazzi and splayed across every tabloid cover, the image of cloud computing suffers from too much hype. Those celebrities no longer are recognized for their body of work, but instead the audience associates them with scandalous stories about their personal lives - which may or may not be based in truth. With cloud computing, the hype - often positive in nature, though concerns around cloud security loom large - outweighs the reality for many, causing confusion for those seeking to invest and implement cloud to reap its reported rewards.
Recent research from Gartner shows interest in cloud peaking and now falling into what the analyst firm dubs the "Trough of Disillusionment." While virtualization and big data will provide benefits over the next two years, Gartner says mainstream adoption of cloud computing won't happen until 2017. In its Hype Cycle report, Gartner states (according to an article in CloudTimes):
"Confusion remains the norm," Gartner's report states about the cloud computing industry. "Many misconceptions exist around potential benefits, pitfalls and, of course, cost savings. Cloud is often part of cost-cutting discussions, even though its ability to cut costs is not a given. There are also many reasons to talk about the capabilities enabled by cloud computing: agility, speed and innovation. These are the potential benefits that can be overlooked if hype fatigue sets in."
Separate reports from Forrester Research show the cloud computing market reaching beyond $60 billion by the end of 2012, and enterprise IT departments - which spent 2011 catching up - leading the cloud adoption curve this year. And CNET Australia shared results from a Wakefield Research survey performed on behalf of Citrix that showed more than half (51%) of 1,006 American adults "believe that a storm could play havoc with cloud computing." Yet the same story pointed out that while 54% reported never using the cloud, actually 95% of the respondents use cloud computing in various forms, whether or not they realize it or are familiar with the technology terms.
Stories and seemingly conflicting reports such as these add to the confusion, and the recently reported delayed adoption expectations from Gartner, could further stall cloud plans for enterprise IT. Worried over the type of cloud to deploy (public, private or hybrid) and how to get the promised benefits, enterprise IT departments need some guidance to lessen the cloudiness, forgive the pun.
That's what providers such as Hosting Ireland hope to offer customers. The Web hosting company serves Ireland, Europe and other customers throughout the world, offering virtual private data centers, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions and more. The company is working to differentiate itself with cloud services and help customers reduce headaches by adopting cloud services.
"The biggest challenge is not when or if they're going to get into the cloud, but at what level they're going to go in, which layer they are going to utilize and which deployment model they are going to use," says William Harrison, CTO and Technical Director at Hosting Ireland in a recent CA Technologies Cloud Luminary video. "When getting into a cloud, an organization doesn't want to just follow the herd. They want to make sure they research their requirements clearly and then they can decide which solution of the many in the cloud is going to be the right one."
What confuses you about cloud computing? Is there too much hype to clearly see the benefits of cloud? Please leave a comment here, let me know via Twitter @DDubie or e-mail me directly at Denise.Dubie@ca.com.