I must admit even though I use the term myself, I am getting pretty fed-up with the whole Cloud thing and the pretty constant attempts of vendors to both Cloud-wash their products and generally try to sprinkle Cloud Magic Dust around the place. Cloud has become so vague as a term that it has all the substance of a Cloud I suppose. The hijacking of the term by both storage vendors and virtualisation vendors has probably been a major factor in dilution of the term; when either of them talk about Cloud, you will find their old products cloaked pretending to be a Cloud.
But there is something else which is more concerning and that is the blinkered acceptance of the hype by many in the end-user community. That Cloud is somehow that solution to all of their IT problems and issues; that solution which solve it all. Now I am not talking about process and the necessary organisational changes that are required to make Cloud work. I am talking about a more fundamental re-evaluation of IT and what it means to business.
At the moment, Cloud mostly seems to be focused at the delivery of infrastructure; faster, cheaper and better but I do wonder if there should be a more significant appraisal. If Cloud is simply a method for the delivery of more and more IT stuff, does it really change anything? If Cloud is simply about delivering thousands of virtual machines, if Cloud is simply about the delivery of petabytes of storage, if Cloud is simply about delivering more of the same is it really a paradigm shift akin to that of the personal computer?
At some point, we need to look beyond the infrastructure utility and consider what this means. Yes it's great that we can consume more and more but if we look at what we as humans tend to do with abundance; we gorge...
'Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width...'
Do we want this to be the legacy of the Cloud? I think some of the vendors out there would be quite happy with a legacy where we build more stuff. But I think that we owe it to ourselves to ensure that any move to a Cloud infrastructure includes an appraisal of the whole IT sphere. Our customers do not consume 'tin' or even 'virtual tin'; they consume applications.
Does Cloud enable applications or does it enable application developers? Will it make a difference to the person sitting in the Call Centre? Does it matter?
I guess this is what is really keeping me up at night when I think about Cloud; does it really change anything?
What do you think?