Cloud Computing…in Bed

You know a market is heating up when it feels like every company, start up or incumbent, is taking a position in it. That’s certainly the way it feels with ‘Cloud Computing’. Every company I meet with now seems to have some sort of Cloud Computing angle.

I remember the mid 80’s when Unix entered its hype phase. Traditional proprietary OS companies, seemingly overnight, developed competitive offerings for the Unix market. As a hardware vendor, if you didn’t have a Unix-based solution to offer — even if it was weak — you were toast. Similarly, today, if you’re a high tech vendor it is highly likely you have some sort of Cloud-based offering — even if you’re an incumbent and even if it’s weak.

It hit me last week at the Cloud Connect Conference in San Jose that Cloud Computing may have officially reached its hype phase.  What was my epiphany? When I received an invitation to form a group to discuss “Optical Character Reading In the Cloud”. Seriously? OCR in the Cloud?

I’m sure it was a legitimate invitation to a legitimate discussion but I just had to laugh. It reminded me when my kids were younger and they demanded my wife and me to add the words “in bed” at the end of reading our paper fortune inside our Chinese Fortune cookies. I’m sure it was amusing at first but after repeated readings, it grew a little tiring — at least for the grownups.

With every company adding the words “in the Cloud” to their every marketing pitch and product position it is beginning, for me at least, to feel the same as adding those words “in bed” at the end of those fortunes in the cookies; somewhat wearisome.

Cloud Computing is a great evolutionary business model and technology transformation. It provides an innovative way to deliver new solutions at a much reduced price for consumers/businesses. However, I hope the hype starts to get dialed back soon-just a little-in bed.

  • Totally agree with you Bruce! ‘In the Cloud’ has become a jargon. I know a couple of folks who want to host their blog in the Cloud. If your app doesn’t demand the capabilities of Cloud, plain vanilla web hosting is just good enough.

    – Janakiram

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  • This is so true!

    It’s unfortunate that companies jump on and then break the bandwagon. Cloud computing is a legitimate approach to solving some business problems. Cloud computing is an essential characteristic of the solution in cases where the community effect is required or desired. When information is authored, updated, and consumed by many parties in a dynamic manner, cloud computing enables a fluid solution that fits.

    Just as the hype phase was predictable, the fall-out phase will occur as well. I vividly remember competing against MRP players claiming to be “relational” when they operated on flat ISAM file systems. Those companies are gone. The “fake” cloud companies will soon join them.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • TT

    Agreed, with a further comment…. For those who have invested diligent time getting into an enterprise clients’ biz ((what it takes for each to ideate, procure, create, market, vend, service, etc)) they understand that the cloud today only addresses one minor ill, gaining a potential fixed cost. However, unless the new paradigm truly creates some significant enabling capability, the long term effect will force a squeeze on the remaining non-fixed structures that can only be addressed with transformational leadership. I’m continually disappointed with cost cutting as a means for avoiding the real hard work of value creation. A well known global bank is now paying bonuses to employees for finding cost saving measures in order to cut $3-5B. You wouldn’t believe the creative ideas coming fwd, especially when IT normally asks for a larger realm. Where were those ideas and leadership 2 yrs ago, in bed?