3 Recommendations for Moving the Cloud Conversation Forward

It seems like everything is about “cloud” these days, which I think is surprising when there are so many other potential IT game changers already here or on the horizon. Late last year, Gartner Research put out its list of Ten Strategic Technologies for 2012.

Cloud is there, but so are a lot of other really cool things, which got me thinking that the cloud conversation isn’t progressing. And, while we’re talking about Cloud, we’re missing opportunities to talk about other things. Still, I’m going to talk about Cloud because I would like to see this conversation progress, primarily so we can move on to those other, very cool things. I have three recommendations for making this happen:

#1 Stop labeling everything “Cloud”

The hot, “new” (circa 2006) term “cloud” is being slapped on every service you can access from your PC or mobile phone. I think that’s causing confusion and making the term meaningless. Instead, I think we should narrowly define cloud based on a set of key characteristics. If a service doesn’t fit the definition, maybe we should call it something else…

#2 Remember that we’ve had this conversation before

In fact, many of the show-stoppers we hear about cloud are the same things we hear every time service providers launch new products to market. Often, in cloud, we hear questions about separation of customer data, security, performance, user experience and more. I’m not sure I’ve heard any questions that haven’t come up around services like traditional hosting or shared networking. I firmly believe we’ll get the right answers to the questions eventually, just like we have with most, if not all, other IT services.

#3 End the cutesy weather-related metaphors

Cloud is nebulous. It’s foggy. When something in cloud gets resolved, skies are brightening. Enough is enough. Don’t you agree?

What do you think?  The cloud being overused for too many services? What are the other topics you feel need to be addressed?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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