Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cloud Computing is Like Sex

Last night while discussing with some senior IT executives the hyperbole that currently surrounds public cloud computing the thought struck me that public clouds are like sex. If you think about it, Oprah makes millions of dollars a year talking about sex. A practitioner such as Heidi Fleiss (a.k.a., the "Hollywood Madam”), however, does not fare as well. Ms. Fleiss, as you may or may not remember, ended up in jail.

The relevance to cloud computing is that industry analysts can make a lot of money talking about public cloud computing. In contrast to Ms. Fleiss, IT organizations that entrust their data and critical applications to public cloud vendors based largely on the hype in the marketplace will probably not end up in jail. They will, however, expose both their company and their careers to unnecessary risk.

There are aspects of the cloud computing vision that are real today and which offer value today.  However, as an industry we need to get past all of the hype and fluff and talk about what is real and what it takes for IT organizations to take advantage of cloud computing.

1 comment:

  1. Jim, your comment reminds me of the age-old story that tends to go around about various technologies. It was particularly popular with the “irrational exuberance” that surrounded ATM about ten or so years ago. But I’ll use cloud computing in asking the question:

    “How is Cloud Computing like teen sex?”

    1) Everybody talks about it all the time.
    2) Everybody thinks everybody else is doing it.
    3) In reality, virtually nobody is doing it.
    4) Those who are doing it are doing it very poorly.