Posts Tagged 'cloud computing confusion'

Cloud Confusion Reigns !

I have just opened this months version of a computing magazine I subscribe to and was faced with a two page advert that had the headline “Flocking to the Cloud ?”. The advert, by a respected UK hosting provider was offering a free report whose title I have used for this post. The advert started me thinking about how difficult it can be to make an informed decision when tasked with purchasing computing services. For example, over the two page advert the following buzzwords were highlighted:

  • Private Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Virtualisation
  • Managed hosting

Unless somebody is aware of the details of cloud computing some of these terms will be a mystery. Some are not cloud computing. The text of the advert then proceeded to describe how businesses are now flocking to the cloud ‘in their droves’ because of the benefits that ‘speak for themselves’.

I think this advert highlights two major factors that are to blame for the confusion that can surround cloud computing.
1. Firstly, cloud computing is many things and so is difficult to explain in a clear concise way. It spans all aspects of IT delivery.
2. Secondly, many cloud computing vendors, such as the one whose advert triggered me to write this post, have evolved from traditional hosting providers. These organisations are now selling cloud computing services together with their traditional hosting services, but often their marketing materials include both areas of products/services which have large areas of functionality overlap. They want to sell the new cloud services but also their traditional services too for those who will not move to cloud computing.

The net result of the wide and rapidly evolving cloud computing products and services, together with a lack of clarity in vendors marketing make it extremely difficult to make good sense of what cloud computing is and how it may benefit an organisation. In addition how does it compare to more traditional IT services in aspects such as cost, performance, security, availability etc. As author of Learning Tree’s Introduction to Cloud Computing course, this was one of the main factors I wanted to deliver – a clear, focused and detailed 3 days explaining exactly what cloud computing is, what it is not, and how it can be used by organisations to deliver business and technical benefits. If you are not sure about cloud computing, why not consider attending. Details can be found here.

Chris Czarnecki

Cloud Computing – The Confusion

Over the last few months I have been monitoring IT professionals understanding of what cloud computing actually is. As part of my daily consulting activities and also from attendees when presenting the Learning Tree cloud computing course the results are interesting. IT and business professionals have so many different views of what cloud computing actually is – many incorrect. Such a lack of understanding often means ill informed decisions are being made by organisations on cloud computing and the benefits they could be leveraging from cloud computing are being missed.

It was interesting to see an article on Information Week that also confirmed my findings. The article surveyed organisations on their use of cloud computing, asking the questions based on respondents roles in the organisation. What they found was that there was a large discrepancy in the answers based on the respondents role in the organisation. Of the respondents 40% of upper managers believed their organisations are using cloud computing, 30% of middle managers did and 20% or IT staffers did. This wide variation between IT staffers and management can be primarily attributed to the lack of appreciation of what actually comprises cloud computing.

So why is there such a lack of understanding of cloud computing ? Mainly because it is actually so many different things but equally there is much being written on cloud computing by people who do not understand what cloud computing actually is and so are misinforming their readers. As an example of the lack of understanding, just today, a well respected IT director said to me “so why is Amazon entering this Web hosting business when there are so many Internet service providers out there already ?”.

Because cloud computing can make such a dramatic difference to an organisation in so many different ways(both business and technical) it is vital that an organisation has a correct solid foundation of what cloud computing actually is. So how can this knowledge be gained ? Learning Tree has an excellent 3 day course that will accelerate you on the right track. For time constrained professionals, the half day summary can clear the smog and start the creative thinking of how the cloud can benefit your organisation. I hope to see you on one of these events in the near future.


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