Dale Vile headshot I have conducted a lot of interviews recently with vendors, resellers and systems integrators about why it is proving so hard to motivate the traditional IT channel to get on board with cloud. There are some examples of success, but scaling up action beyond a minority of niche partners or risk takers seems …
Odd to read an article bemoaning the slow uptake of the cloud marketing hype nonsense by SMBs... without once reading the words "security" or "high availability" or "telecoms"...
It is no wonder (to me) that cloud vendors are frustrated by lack of customer motivation. You can put lipstick on a pig...
For me, hosting security is the key flaw in cloud bar none. Followed closely by high availability. Followed closely by telecommunications confidentiality.
Not to mention
Not to mention Data Protection, import/export controls, access to data when Internet connections go down, expenditure to ensure they *don't* go down, reliance on a (money-sucking middle-man) external provider, etc. etc. etc. and then a complete loss of all investment in your current infrastructure.
Cloud is an incredibly silly rehash of existing concepts that most places just DON'T need, and in some cases actually don't WANT for good reasons. Why don't businesses move from their own controlled systems that they've bought permanently to something where they have to pay annually and have less control over? I just can't fathom it :-P
In a world where businesses are hitting serious fines and legal implications for having systems that are being hacked all the time, data is being leaked via third-parties (how do you know your cloud provider isn't also serving your competitors, or that it doesn't pass through embargoed countries?) and data is being flung across the Internet without thought, it's seems incredibly silly to suggest that we put even more data in the hands of an outside entity that *we* have to pick up responsibility for if they mess up.
As an IT guy, it's my job to generate, protect and manage your data. There's only a few steps of that process that it makes any sense at all to hand to a random lowest-bidder third party without putting an enormous burden on them that they just wouldn't be willing to sign up to. Hopefully in a decade, the word Cloud will seem as outdated and hilarious as the word "E-commerce" or "Push technology" or "The Information Superhighway". Cloud is a marketing fad, and as such is rightly ignored by anyone who would be knowledgeable enough to actually decide on the pros and cons of such things. Hearing it turns me off products, services and service providers. It has its uses but they rarely ever push the "cloud" angle even when they do use it. Pretty much the same as SaaS but there are people being forced into that as well.
Why is no-one using it? Because no-one wants it or they can do better themselves. Same old IT story.
Oh, hey guys - great idea:
Lets put all our private data on a cloud (most of which aren't even ISO 270xx compliant), and then pay more for the privilege.
You wonder why there isn't a big takeup but isn't it completely obvious?
Cloud offerings are not about any technical benefit, there really aren't that many, they are about economic benefit to the vendor through reductions in hosting costs and protection of long term revenue streams.
For consumers, it's about flexibility of demand, paying for what you use, rather than your peak, and transfer of capital expenditure to revenue.
If you have a consistent demand for computing a cloud is always going to be more expensive, because you are in effect renting by the minute, and placing more risk on the vendor, who will charge for that risk. The kit they provide has to host more than a single vendor, then they need to size for multiple clients peak demands, and when that resource is not in use, they still have to pay for the kit, the racking, the management tools, the networks, the power, cooling and floorspace. You can bet their cost models ensure full recovery of those costs over a relatively short time period. I can only really see cloud computing being of any value where you have a low base load with very high peaks, or can get a good deal on any base load commitment over a number of years. This doesn't tend to be how its sold though.
Oh and then there is security, client separation, and separations of duty in the ops centre do not come cheap, neither are they that easy to implement.
Ultimately Cloud computing is a financial gimmick, not a technical need, and anyway isn't it just a variation on time sharing mainframe bureaus?
Cloud? Isn't it just outsourcing?
All you're doing is tossing your data over the wall into cheapo-land and hoping someone there will "do it" for you. It's really just the same as getting in a company that's better at running IT operations than you are, and having them annoy your users, instead.
However, it comes with a whole slew of extra disadvantages: you don't really know for sure where your data is, who's managing it, what their security is like, whether they are also hosting your competitor's stuff (and if said competitor is slipping someone a crafty tenner .... ) or even if the host's building will disappear into a hole, a flood, a bomb-crater or if it's just in somebody's garage. Worst of all, how can you get all your stuff back if/when/how the operation goes titsup. Which some, sooner or later surely will.
So basically The Cloud is really just Outsourcing 2.0 - just like ordinary outsourcing but with even fewer safeguards.