2 Comments

Summary:

Here’s hoping 2012 will be the year we separate the wheat from the chaff in cloud computing. At the very least, more businesses will know about the potential benefits and pitfalls of cloud computing so they can differentiate the real from the bogus.

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In 2012, cloud computing will be old enough to do some great things — and to get into trouble.

By next year, more businesses will  know a good bit about the notion of cloud computing — even if they themselves haven’t put corporate applications or data onto public or private cloud infrastructure. C-level executives and their operational troops have at least read up on the subject and faced enough sales pitches that they can differentiate the real from the bogus. And I would bet they all have a passing knowledge of the potential benefits (moving budget from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, the pay-as-you go model, etc.) from the pitfalls (IT cedes control of infrastructure to an outsider) of cloud computing.

In his top 10 cloud predictions for 2012, Forrester Research analyst James Staten said the upcoming year marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years.” That means there will be some real maturation — and some embarrassing slip ups.

On the plus side, he agrees cloud-savvy customers will mean an end to annoying “cloud washing.” That’s the practice in which a marketer cloaks his or her company in the mantle of cloud computing whether it’s applicable or not.

Also good news is that cloud IT posers will be discovered and shunted aside as more people get trained and gain real experience on cloud deployments. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC and others are all stepping up here. There are more openings for cloud experts than cloud experts to fill them, but new training and certification will address that imbalance: all good things.

Not so good is the prospect of cloud failures. The message here is: Things break; get used to it. “Your company will survive a major cloud outage,” Staten states.  “The sooner you learn to deal with [that] the better off you will be.”

Also scary: There are some ugly regulatory issues on the horizon. Much as parents try to rein in unruly teenagers, governments will try to control the spread of cloud computing. Just as the U.S. Patriot Act gave international companies pause before deploying cloud assets in the U.S., other attempts to regulate, ban or spy on cloud computing assets will constrain growth.  A few months ago, for example, a Deutsche Telekom exec proposed a German cloud that would be safe from U.S. snooping. This attempted imposition of national or other borders on cloud computing could kill off this adolescent before it’s old enough to vote. Bottom line, says Staten: “The Internet knows no bounds and neither should the cloud.”

And as often happens even with well-intentioned “good” teenagers, some executive in the cloud universe will overstep the rules, trying to test compliance regulations in the cloud and will end up in court (or worse) or at least unemployed.

Finally, a topic close to my heart, Staten reiterates the mantra that IT channel players – the companies that sell software, hardware and services to business customers — that haven’t evolved to embrace the cloud better do so now. Or else.  It’ s not a new message, but it still rings true: “For the channel to survive it must add value around cloud services and there’s plenty of opportunity to go around.”

Just as human beings are made stronger by the trials and tribulations they faced as pimply-faced teens, the hope here is that cloud computing will face and survive these challenges, and come out on the other side stronger and more capable.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user GorupKa

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  134. Rafael Scapin, Ph.D. Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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  141. Emil Ahangarzadeh Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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  142. Cloud hits adolescence – http://t.co/gSOHmajr .

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  146. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — http://t.co/2xrYocy3

  147. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/MetPMlLK #pdccsd #edchat

  148. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

  149. 2012 marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years” http://t.co/73DVA1Rh

  150. RT @mvisser: 2012 marks the beginning of cloud computing’s “awkward teenage years” http://t.co/73DVA1Rh

  151. 2012: cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PhZO4EGt

  152. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/SoyZPtSl
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  154. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse — http://t.co/wNrvroDZ

  155. West Interactive Thursday, December 1, 2011

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  156. Good read – 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse #cloud #cloudcomputing #isv #cio http://t.co/DGzzpR53

  157. 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/C1yRwBSm

  158. Beth Lisowski Friday, December 2, 2011

    2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse http://t.co/PxFXyaoM #cloud #cloudcomputing

  159. Adding value via cloud is right on. There are many players in the enterprise space, including HP and Dell. Think ACS/Xerox (http://www.acscloud.com/) and Cisco too.

  160. David C Pinkowitz Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Enjoyed reading . . RT @wolfpackboss — “2012: cloud computing (http://t.co/9CjQsSrM) hits adolescence for better or worse.”

  161. 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

  162. Michaela Gutierrez Saturday, December 10, 2011

    http://t.co/sXTeMxnG 2012: Cloud computing hits adolescence for better or worse – GigaOm

  163. Carlos Navarro Sunday, December 11, 2011

    In case you missed it: 2012 will mark an exciting time for growth potential in #cloudcomputing http://t.co/JRZIxja5 #cloud #cio #isv

  164. I think cloud computing is a good option but of course you have to be safe with it. There are many sites out there including https://www.mypdv.com, http://www.dropbox.com, etc, etc….

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