Born-again cloud advocates finally see the light

Cloud deniers are becoming cloud supporters and conveniently forgetting their early rejection of cloud technology

Let me tell you, back in 2004, selling cloud computing in San Francisco was no easy task. Doors were slammed in my face more often than not, and I heard over and over again how dumb it was to assume that anyone would ever place their core data and business processes in Internet-linked systems.

The fact is that many people in tech function like a kid's soccer team: There is no core strategy. Instead, they chase the ball from place to place, hoping to get a whack at it.

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In 2004, cloud computing (at least, IaaS and PaaS) was not well understood. There was little hype behind it and no soccer ball heading in my direction. Remember, it's not a good idea until many others think it's a good idea, and disappointingly, we have vastly more followers than leaders.

Fast-forward eight years, and many of those who slammed doors in my face, did not return phone calls, and outright told me cloud computing will never work have suddenly come around to the cloud way of thinking. Not only do they support cloud, they tell me they always did. I refer to these folks as "born-again cloud." They typically work for large technology providers, Global 2000 enterprises, or large consulting organizations. They speak in buzzwords. They survived the last set of layoffs. They've purchased at least five cloud computing books, mine included, that sit on the bookshelf behind their desk. They waited for the iPad 2.

Don't get me wrong: It's OK to be "born-again cloud." Many people accept technology evolutions late. Take, for example, the rise of the Web -- entire corporate cultures needed to change before the Web was accepted in most enterprises. As long as you eventually move in the right direction, things work out. Moreover, you can adopt technology too early. I'd argue that in 2004 some maturation was still needed, albeit the cloud concept was sound.

However, I can't help but wish that we keep an open mind about the next technology evolution when it begins and get religion earlier. We shouldn't wait until everybody else does it. Oh, well -- I'll start building up a thick skin now.

This article, "Born-again cloud advocates finally see the light," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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