October 20, 2011 | Written by: Martin Menzel
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Several years back, a colleague of mine approached me to talk about cloud computing. I was a bit amused about the term he used – because I hadn’t heard about it before – and the idea that cloud computing will dramatically change the way we approach and do things in IT within the next years to come. But, because in my deepest inner self I’m a lazy guy 😉 – I really liked the idea of using ready-to-use services, pay only what I consume, highly automated and standardized, accessible from anywhere, and with minimum human intervention – sounds (until today) like heaven to me 🙂
And so I jumped on the marketing wagon, became knowledgeable about cloud computing, promoted the cloud idea during a lot of marketing and partner events, internally in the company and of course during my one-to-one customer meetings. But, the initial enthusiasm quickly swapped into a “why doesn’t everybody immediately want this: frustration. Why don’t they love this new approach, because it might help to solve a lot of their current issues?
When one starts to talk about cloud, one quickly realizes that depending on whom you speak to, cloud computing comes in different disguises, whether it’s IaaS, SaaS, public, private, and hybrid clouds, and others. Confusion is preprogrammed. I remember the feedback of a participant from an IBM Business Partner event several years ago. After eight cloud speeches during this event from various vendors and Business Partners, being asked at the end how they liked the event, one of the participants answered “I came here today with the idea that there are three to four distinct cloud models and now I understand that there must be at least nine or more – unfortunately I can’t recall anymore which these exactly are.” I personally don’t remember much from this event anymore, but this comment still is on my mind as if it was yesterday.
There is a saying – “as you will name a ship so it will float.” And, cloud computing is floating! No IT magazine without at least one article about cloud. Today, earlier adopters already have started to move towards cloud computing. Whoever first created this term and made it popular did an excellent job.
But, still there are a lot of companies hesitating to take this step. I strongly believe this hesitancy has to do with the still existing confusion around the term cloud computing and the fact that today almost every vendor is offering their solution as somehow cloud-washed. Subconsciously people are not willing to invest in something so vague such as cloud computing – they are waiting for something that is more concrete that helps to solve their business issues.
Today, the underlying technologies (virtualization, automation, self-service) are becoming more mature; for the sake of better understanding – can’t we come up with a different name for what we call today cloud computing? Would a name changer also be a game changer?