I haven't been shy about talking up the many of the benefits of cloud computing, but I address the dark side as well. Ironically, the caveats to cloud computing aren't typically technology related. However, they can derail your cloud computing plans if you aren't careful.
Overinflated expectations. Not a week goes by that some analyst predicts cloud computing growth at a rate never before seen in the tech world, typically tens of billions of dollars by 2012 or 2014. I suspect these numbers include many elements not related to cloud computing, as larger publicly traded technology companies attempt to "cloud wash" themselves toward higher stock prices.
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These unreasonable expectations may be setting up cloud computing for failure. The industry is growing, but it's more of a gentle upward slope than a hockey stick when you isolate it to the truly relevant technologies.
Noninnovative and late strategies. I've already chimed in on HP's recent push into cloud computing, which was too late and very "me too." However, many other companies are making the same leap now that cloud computing looks like a safe bet. Pay attention: You can't enter a space once the established players are settled and expect any significant growth; you just look silly. I predict we'll see significant failures in the next few years, but they won't be the fault of cloud computing as a technology. Instead, blame the strategies and the executives behind the scenes.
Confusion over private clouds and data centers. Private clouds are a legitimate approach to architecture, leveraging many of the benefits of public clouds within your own IT infrastructure. However, not everything in your data center is now a private cloud, including the grouping of virtualized servers. Clouds have very specific features, as I've covered extensively in this blog; unless you take care in how you design and create your infrastructure, it's not a cloud.
This article, "3 more cloud killers," 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.