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Cutting Through The Hype: The Reality Of Cloud Computing For The Enterprise

HardwareNews
by Bryan Doerr
, 22 Sep 2010News

Cloud computing is the latest buzzword in IT, however, our research shows that a significant percentage of IT executives - 36 percent on average - are either “a little unsure” or “really don’t know about cloud computing at all.” 

Interestingly, IT heads from smaller companies are more likely to know what cloud computing is and what it can do for them than larger enterprises - perhaps because until recently, cloud computing was only considered viable for smaller organisations (Figure 4).

Technically, cloud computing is a system of delivering computing resources as services over the Internet. Such services can include applications, operating systems and infrastructure.

From a business perspective, cloud computing has been promoted as a way to dramatically cut IT costs even as it provides unlimited scalability and the rock-solid reliability that conventional computing platforms lack.

If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it largely has been, at least for the enterprise. Until recently, cloud platforms were unable to deliver the performance, the flexibility and the availability that larger companies needed. 

Cloud was indeed largely oversold and deemed too risky on which to trust mission-critical applications and systems.

All this has changed. Analysts now say that cloud is finally transcending the hype and has started delivering real value to enterprises. According to Forrester, about 25 percent of enterprises expect to spend money “now or soon” on outsourced cloud services. 

Gartner also highlights the fact that cloud is finally delivering benefits like enterprise-class application development environments, with “virtually unlimited scalability and reliability,” at prices compatible with those found in the small or midsize business (SMB) market.

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