Navigate cloud hype with realistic goals


Cloud computing has been met with a wide range of perceptions from business decision makers. It’s probably not much of a surprise to Gartner analysts, given the position of many cloud services on the research firm’s “Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012.” As Forbes contributor Louis Columbus pointed out, cloud-enabled business process management, big data and numerous other applications are nearing the hype cycle’s “peak of inflated expectations.”

This means that many new deployments will not yield intended results due to unrealistic ideas surrounding the technology. Part of the confusion is due to the “cloudwashing” trend in which companies label technology deployments as utilizing the cloud whether they fit the bill or not. However, there is a silver lining for those businesses that form comprehensive plans for incorporating cloud computing into their IT infrastructures.

“Leading with a strategic framework of goals and objectives increases the probability of cloud-based platform success,” Columbus wrote. “Those enterprises that look to cloud platforms only for cost reduction miss out on their full potential.”

Before business decision makers can craft a strategic framework to guide their company’s cloud initiatives, they may have to work on dispelling some common misconceptions. One of these, according to Forrester analyst James Staten, is the belief that the cloud automatically equates to cost savings. It is true that IT expenses can be cut under some models, but cost savings shouldn’t be a standard assumption. Fortunately, Staten predicted that businesses will increasingly integrate cost modeling applications with online database software to better track cloud budgets.


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