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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For Cloud Computing, the "Plateau of Productivity" is the Light at the End of the Tunnel


Finding trusted information sources on your favorite technology can be a challenging undertaking these days with so many options to choose from. And even more so when your favorite technology is one of the most hyped in the galaxy. The "over-enthusiasm" or hype associated with an emerging technology has almost always been accompanied by an army of people or firms who over night somehow became "experts" in the field.

Today, if you're a devotee of e-book readers, social software suites, microblogging, wireless power, Internet TV, 3-D printing or green IT, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

All of the aforementioned technologies are nearing the top, or are at the top, or are just over the top of The Gartner Group's famous Hype Cycle (now in its 15th year for those of you keeping score at home).

Subsequently, one can easily drown in the fire hose of information that is available on technologies such as these, that are in the "technology trigger" or "peak of inflated expectations" stages of The Hype Cycle.

For many of these technologies, things quiet down when they enter the dreaded "trough of disillusionment" phase of the hype cycle -- the phase when a technology fails to meet the unrealistic expectations the market established for it. Technology categories such as online video, home health monitoring, public virtual worlds, RFID and others are currently trudging through the "trough" phase, hoping to rise yet again once they sled through the "slope of enlightenment" to hopefully live happily ever after in the "plateau of productivity."

Today, the poster child of the "peak of inflated expectations" however, is none other than cloud computing. And it's fitting that cloud computing earned this status this week, for this week is when Cloud Expo takes place in the Big Apple at the convention center everyone loves to hate -- the Javits Convention Center.

It's the same convention center, after all, that hosted the conferences of a number of "overly-hyped" technologies that preceded cloud computing. These include but are not limited to various UNIX conferences (remember UNIX?), such as UNIX/EXPO, and too many Internet and IT expos (like INTEROP) to remember. It's also the same convention center where trying to get a cab back to your hotel following a day on your feet had been next to impossible.

Aside from the vast number of announcements cloud computing companies are making this week at Cloud Expo, and aside from the industry alliances that have been formed and announced at Cloud Expo, it will be interesting to see what tangible customer benefits result from all of this business.

From all appearances, it seems that Cloud Expo has been well attended this week despite corporate America's lock down on business travel. The purveyors of "trusted" information about cloud computing are getting the job done at Cloud Expo and it does appear that cloud computing, given its status as the "peak of inflated expectations" poster child, is living up to expectations.

So far. So good.

With any luck, cloud computing -- like many of its predecessors --will find peace and harmony and practical adaptation in the "plateau of productivity" in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, it will be fun to to pay close attention to the cloud computing paparazzi to learn what they take back from New York City.

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