When Dilbert takes aim at cloudwashing, maybe it is the beginning of the end for that annoying practice which threatens the credibility of tech companies.
Dilbert’s boss (he of the awesome two-point hairdo) tells Dilbert to move some of the company’s functions to the Internet but to call the Internet “cloud.” Why? Because no one “will take us seriously unless we’re doing something in the cloud,” says Mr. Two-Points, aka PHB or Pointy-headed Boss. The remedy is to apply mindless jargon to what they’re already doing. This has been the practice of 95 percent of software companies for the past few years –put out an update and call it “cloud.”
Last year, Appirio inaugurated a “Cloudwashies” contest to give the most shameless perpetrators of cloudwashing the dubious acknowledgement they so richly deserved. Oracle and its CEO Larry Ellison — whose miraculous “come-to-cloud” conversion made him the no brainer choice — were winners. So were Salesforce.com and Microsoft — for it’s beyond-irritating “to the cloud” ads. (InformationWeek has its own take here.)
Of course the best thing that’s been done on this topic remains The Onion’s “HP on that cloud thing that everyone is talking about.” Watch it now if you haven’t. Or even if you have.
As Flexiant founder Tony Lucas pointed out last week, and as Dilbert now reinforces, it’s time for cloudwashing to stop. When Appirio announced the Cloudwashies, it said that the award would probably be a one-shot deal — the hope being that cloud madness would end soon. No word yet on whether the awards are in fact off for 2012, however there still seems to be a good bit of cloudwashing going on.