Enterprises' love/hate cloud relationship foretells unhappy results

In Yankee Group survey, 60 percent of enterprises see cloud computing as 'key to business innovation,' but take narrow approach to implementation

According to the recent Yankee Group survey, "more enterprises consider cloud computing a viable technology, with nearly 60 percent saying they view it as a business enabler versus less than 40 percent who say the technology will take years to mature, if it ever does." The Yankee Group also reports this is a huge change for 2009, when just 37 percent saw it as an enabler, and 63 percent were taking a wait-and-see approach, with many viewing cloud computing as overhyped.

I think we all understand that cloud computing is the current direction of IT, validated by these types of surveys. But how will enterprises approach cloud computing? The survey goes on to report that "private clouds win: Due to security and privacy issues, most enterprises (67 percent) prefer private/internal clouds to public cloud infrastructures."

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What's troubling is that most of those who responded in favor of private clouds perhaps don't understand their own issues yet. I believe that many who consider private clouds to be their only solution actually need a hybrid approach combining both private and public clouds. Some organizations may discover this when they commit to enough due diligence and architecture before selecting a solution, but I suspect many will wing it and go down the "safe" private-only cloud path.

The survey also pointed out that when it comes to clouds, IT wants to follow the vendor leaders, but doesn't want those leaders in their enterprise: "Enterprises want to make their IT cloud infrastructure like's or Google's, but just 17 percent say they view either vendor as a trusted cloud partner."

For cloud computing architecture, planning, and deployment, the survey showed that 29 percent would use systems integrators such as Accenture, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard's EDS, while 23 percent look to infrastructure vendors such as Cisco Systems and EMC VMware. These are the vendors currently walking the enterprise halls, so they offer the path of least resistance and are viewed as low risks. However, the cloud computing brain trust does not seem to be a part of the larger systems integration providers' talent pool yet; I suspect in 2011 I'll be relating stories about million-dollar cloud projects that went nowhere.

This article, "Enterprises' love/hate cloud relationship foretells unhappy results," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at


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