Cloud computing is either a revolutionary IT management tool or a nebulous puff of marketing hype, depending on whom you ask. For now, we’re thinking it’s puffery—but intriguing developments are under way.
A Cloudy Concept
Rather than house your own IT servers or rent the maximum processing and storage capacity you’ll ever need, why not pay only for what you use, when you use it? That’s the basic idea behind cloud computing—and it’s an alluring possibility for many reasons, not least the desire to contain costs and reduce energy consumption. But it turns out that much of the appeal is based on a murky understanding of the concept.
According to research by Gartner group vice president Mark McDonald, the percentage of CIOs interested in cloud computing has grown considerably, from 5% in 2009 to 37% earlier this year. And the bigger the company, the more likely management is to say that cloud computing is a top-five IT priority.
But three out of four respondents who profess interest in cloud computing report little to none in three of the key technologies it entails: server virtualization, service-oriented architecture, and software as a service. Further, nearly half the respondents equate cloud computing with virtualization alone, which shows that many executives have an incomplete view of it.
Cloud computing has rapidly risen to what McDonald calls “the peak of inflated expectations.” And where is it headed next? The “trough of disillusionment,” he says. That’s because few people can even seem to agree on what cloud computing is, never mind how on earth it should work.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) IT laboratory’s definition, version 15, is more than 760 words long and includes five characteristics, three service models, four deployment models, and a disclaimer saying, in essence, that the definition will change again soon.
Original Article - CloudTweaks
Continue reading at: Harvard Business Review
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