Cloud confusion – self inflicted?

by admin on December 12, 2009

in Cloud Computing/SaaS


I’ve argued that there is way too much confusion in the market around cloud computing. It gets industry people excited but doesn’t help the end user. Hence why I playfully talk about SOC.

In this video segment which I shot at the SAP Business Influencer Summit in Boston last week, Dan McWeeney of Adobe expresses the view that cloud definitions are confusing. In part he implies the confusion comes from a self inflicted attempt by vendors to carve out spaces that should help differentiate them but which only serve to make it difficult for others to understand what’s going on. In contrast, Dan argues that by keeping to other terms such as saas and on-demand, SAP avoids the problem.

Reality check: Dan’s a super cool and brilliant programmer who is among the best of the best I know. If he gets confused then what chance those who are trying to make buying decisions?

I’d like to think that in 2010, we’ll see a return to some sort of sanity where vendors wake up to what the market is demanding – clarity of thinking and sensible, buzzword bingo free communication.

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David Terrar December 12, 2009 at 6:57 am

I agree it is self inflicted, and the current terminology fog is helping the “Cloud denial” crowd. However, I think the industry can define/settle on Cloud in terms of Software (as a Service), Platform and Infrastucture, used in either the public Cloud, or in private Clouds. Once we are over that hurdle we can get on with explaining the value proposition in simple business language. We never had this problem with the shift to client/server, but that was because we could see the server in the corner, and trace the wires to our PC client. This new World needs a little more imagination (or do mean faith?).

dahowlett December 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

Thanks David. You’d think the industry could agree but as we both know many past attempts at this sort of thing have failed because each vendor wants a piece of some pie. The wild west nature of current innovation and its very public availability is a major contributor to a topic that needs hashing out. Preferably without the marketers poking their noses too much into the process.

David Terrar December 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

The number of SaaS and Cloud companies that have signed up to Intellect SaaS Group, EuroCloud or the BASDA Cloud SIG gives me some heart. Those companies at least see the need for a unfied voice to the market, and those three groupings cover all the major players and key start ups, at least in the UK.

David Terrar December 12, 2009 at 9:57 am

I agree it is self inflicted, and the current terminology fog is helping the "Cloud denial" crowd. However, I think the industry can define/settle on Cloud in terms of Software (as a Service), Platform and Infrastucture, used in either the public Cloud, or in private Clouds. Once we are over that hurdle we can get on with explaining the value proposition in simple business language. We never had this problem with the shift to client/server, but that was because we could see the server in the corner, and trace the wires to our PC client. This new World needs a little more imagination (or do mean faith?).

dahowlett December 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

Thanks David. You'd think the industry could agree but as we both know many past attempts at this sort of thing have failed because each vendor wants a piece of some pie. The wild west nature of current innovation and its very public availability is a major contributor to a topic that needs hashing out. Preferably without the marketers poking their noses too much into the process.

David Terrar December 12, 2009 at 6:57 am

I agree it is self inflicted, and the current terminology fog is helping the “Cloud denial” crowd. However, I think the industry can define/settle on Cloud in terms of Software (as a Service), Platform and Infrastucture, used in either the public Cloud, or in private Clouds. Once we are over that hurdle we can get on with explaining the value proposition in simple business language.

We never had this problem with the shift to client/server, but that was because we could see the server in the corner, and trace the wires to our PC client. This new World needs a little more imagination (or do mean faith?).

dahowlett December 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

Thanks David. You'd think the industry could agree but as we both know many past attempts at this sort of thing have failed because each vendor wants a piece of some pie. The wild west nature of current innovation and its very public availability is a major contributor to a topic that needs hashing out. Preferably without the marketers poking their noses too much into the process.

David Terrar December 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

The number of SaaS and Cloud companies that have signed up to Intellect SaaS Group, EuroCloud or the BASDA Cloud SIG gives me some heart. Those companies at least see the need for a unfied voice to the market, and those three groupings cover all the major players and key start ups, at least in the UK.

David Terrar December 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

The number of SaaS and Cloud companies that have signed up to Intellect SaaS Group, EuroCloud or the BASDA Cloud SIG gives me some heart. Those companies at least see the need for a unfied voice to the market, and those three groupings cover all the major players and key start ups, at least in the UK.

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