4 things that are driving cloud computing

Some of the factors that are hurting cloud computing are also helping it -- the extreme hype, for example

My last post, where I pointed out "4 things that are killing cloud computing," received a lot of reaction from readers, so I figured it would be a good idea to list and define some things that are driving cloud computing. They are:

  • The cloud computing hype
  • The cloud computing providers themselves
  • The down economy
  • Quick cloud computing wins

The cloud computing hype: The hype is at a fever pitch and driving much of cloud computing, if you've not noticed. You hear about cloud computing on the major 24-hour business TV networks on a daily basis, so it's on the lips of most CEOs, CFOs, and COOs. It's clear that cloud computing has become a true business buzzword, a status that only few IT concepts have achieved. This recognition translates into growth; I've seen many cloud computing projects driven by the hype rather than true business need. Moreover, moving to cloud computing is now politically correct within most IT shops -- only a few years ago the IT staff would have tossed you out of their conference rooms if you dared to suggest they should leverage resources that they don't own or control.

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The cloud computing providers themselves: What? Did I not list this as something that's killing cloud computing? You bet I did. However, some of these guys are also driving cloud computing. The fact is that the innovation behind many of the cloud computing providers, such as those offering [insert innovative concept here] as a service are really driving interest in the cloud. As I've pointed out, the concept of cloud computing is not at all new, but progressive cloud computing offerings are. For instance, look at all the new services from such providers as Amazon.com and Google, not to mention the hundreds of smaller startups just entering the market. I see a great cloud computing idea come across my desk weekly these days. So, as the innovative and useful services emerge in the clouds, businesses and governments will leverage the clouds. It's that simple.

The down economy: The recession has really driven interest in cloud computing in response to the need to reduce costs. In many instances, IT departments are reinventing themselves around cloud computing after having lost significant staff and budget -- it's out of sheer necessity. However, as the economy returns to normal, I see that normalcy also driving cloud computing. The increased budgets for forward-looking projects will often mean a look at a cloud option because of the innovation that so frequently now begins in the cloud. In short, there always seems to be an economic argument for looking at cloud computing.

Quick cloud computing wins: Enterprises are moving from investigating the idea of cloud computing to the implementation stage in record time, and these quick wins are driving even more interest in cloud computing. I've seen many enterprises move from a meeting, where the need is defined, to having the cloud computing resource online and ready for use in just a few days. The ROI is clear, the business problem is solved, and the users are happy. There's no better advertising than that.

On a personal note, my book "Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Guide" is now shipping and in bookstores. I've very excited about that.


Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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