Hey tech titans: Your cloud cliches don’t help

Big companies are now marketing pro-cloud surveys, though not always for honest purposes. They should be more constructive instead

Hey tech titans: Your cloud cliches don’t help
Credit: Thinkstock

Stop me if you've heard this before. (Or don't!) A new survey of 3,600 enterprise executives from IDC (sponsored by Cisco Systems) found the following:

  • 54 percent expect the cloud -- public, private, and, increasingly, hybrid -- to allow them to allocate IT budgets more strategically
  • 53 percent believe the cloud will help their company increase revenues

Duh, right? We've seen such surveys for years, with no new info. Why mention it? Because what's changed is who is doing the surveys: Nowadays, the establishment technology companies and analyst firms create these surveys to state the benefits of the cloud.

Part of the shift comes from the establishment tech firms trying to join the cloud bandwagon, so they want to be associated to the cloud in buyers' minds. Of course, some of these establishment companies are simply hedging their bets. Look at the number of times they mention hybrid clouds and private clouds. They know that public clouds mean Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft -- not the traditional enterprise hardware and software they sell. Some try to make their stuff look like a private cloud or even a (poorly featured) public cloud.

I wish these companies focused more on substance than marketing. They have resources that could make a difference, if applied in creative and innovative ways. But their process of following the leaders or jumping on the cloud bandwagon won’t get them where they need to be. Instead, it will cause more confusion within their customer base and actually have the reverse effect.

Please get with it. And don’t do another "me too" survey.