Data Center

The Cloud’s “Soft Landing” in the Enterprise – It did not crash and burn nor did it take off as some expected

If you follow the stock market you undoubtedly have heard the term “soft landing”.
The term applies to a theory that says the masterminds in control of a country’s economy try to manage the rate of economic growth so that it is high enough to avoid a recession, but slow enough to avoid high inflation. It’s a form of optimization that I believe is happening in cloud usage rates today.

If you remember our definition for ‘cloud’ for my first blog in this series, ‘Why is Cloud computing so hard to define anyways?

“Cloud Computing is a business model based on a modular, efficient computer platform delivering an on-demand self service user experience”

And of course who could forget all the benefits of cloud…

• Lower costs
• More modularity and portability
• Instant scalability and capacity
• Greater application flexibility
• Higher availability

So with these great benefits, why hasn’t there been a mad rush to cloud as some predicted? The reason is because concerns have emerged that have basically “flat lined” the adoption rate (4-11% of IT budgets based on who you talk to). Just like the mastermind economists, there are mastermind business strategists within corporations, or hired consultants, who understand the real issues with cloud adoption. These business strategists waste no time moving companies toward technologies that yield real business advantages. So what are the issues the masterminds see with massive cloud adoption?

• The infrastructure isn’t ready – Either the enterprise’s current infrastructure, or there are perceptions that the vendor’s solutions are not fully baked.
• Fear of vendor lock-in – This is a place no enterprise wants to be.
• Security – Security and/or privacy of stored data.
• Easy integration into current tool sets – This will evolve over time but some say we are in the “wild west” right now in terms of integration.
• Availability – The recent and famous outages of some cloud providers come to mind.
• Uncomfortable virtualizaing tier 1 applications – These are the business critical applications and if they can’t be virtuaized, they can’t be put in any cloud.

Because of these issues what you hear over and over again from people in the know is, ‘Sure there are benefits to cloud, and we are leveraging all we can right now’. I contend that’s where we are today, but I am very interested in what you think. Do you think the business masterminds engineered this “soft landing” into the cloud? To me there appears to be the right balance and if/when technologies mature the balance will change and the comfortable place we are at will inevitably change.

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  1. Gary Richardson

    The reason cloud has not taken over the world is for the same reason most technologies don’t take over the world. Cloud was over hyped and it under delivers. “Cheap Cloud” is almost always more expensive then established enterprise infrastructures. There are no service levels for the internet so transaction performance can’t be controlled. Cloud is difficult to integrate, is not very good at handling volume transactions and is not a core competency of enterprise software suppliers. Is it going away? Absolutely not. It is a niche technology that is very consumer friendly and its role in the enterprise will evolve over time…just like every other technology before it. There is nothing revolutionary or “game changing” about cloud.