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Monday, March 15, 2010

Shining Light on Dark Clouds

At 3Point we are of the opinion that cloud computing is rapidly evolving to the point that eventually nearly every corner of business will be impacted. We see nearly all segments of technology, from semiconductors to enterprise software to mobility, becoming significant elements of the cloud.

However, as we have mentioned in this space before, cloud computing hype is beginning to peak which could lead to confusion and delayed market acceptance. As an undercurrent to the hype, there is also a steady drumbeat of cloud naysayers, populating the blogosphere with the opinion that cloud computing is nothing but fog and will fall short of its ideal.

A quick Google search finds articles such as Money magazine’s “Cloud Computing is for the Birds” and AdAge’s “This Cloud (Computing) Has No Silver Lining,” which present arguments and opinion that cloud computing is not all as promised. Even respected McKinsey & Company released a study last year that painted the cloud in shades of dark gray saying that while the cloud provided some benefits for smaller companies, large companies could lose money through cloud adoption. And industry luminaries such as Larry Ellison continue to rant against the cloud as old news, nonsense and water vapor.

There is even a Facebook page devoted to debunking the cloud suggesting “Join if you think that cloud computing is a horrible idea” and posted commentary like “It's a funny word for "web services". It's been around forever, and it still kinda sucks. Calling it "cloud computing" doesn't make it any more practical.”

This skeptical opinion also appears to permeate some large corporations, like P&G, as reported by VentureBlog. “What is interesting, however, is that one thing they aren't trying are cloud services. It was made clear that P&G runs everything behind their own firewall. And they have no intention of moving any part of their infrastructure into the cloud. P&G's view of the enterprise is pretty old school.”

This presents a challenge for companies bringing cloud-related products and services to market. Not only must they present a compelling case for their individual success, they must present a solid argument for cloud computing.

We welcome your comments and opinion on this topic:

Is the skepticism of the cloud well-founded?
How might companies rise above this fog of negativity?
What companies are doing a good job with the cloud?
Is any company other than Saleforce.com doing a good job of marketing cloud computing?

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