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Cloud Computing so far has defied the path of Gartner’s hype cycle. In 2009 Gartner noted that the hype around Cloud Computing is ‘deafening’ and ready for a correction in perception. Three years later the hype around the cloud seems only to have intensified. The 2012 Cloud Hype Cycle report is now available from Garter. (Cloud Hype cycle chart made available by Forbes.) Even well-publicized glitches like Amazon’s outage of AWS haven’t put much of a dent in it.
The practice of ‘cloudwashing’ is one of the major factors that is seeding discontent with users that is likely to increase the strength of a backlash. Cloudwashing is the practice by vendors of promoting their products as cloud solutions simply for the fact that those solutions have been deployed on a cloud server when in fact those products were not originally created for the cloud, typically don’t take advantage of cloud capabilities, and often retain a traditional licensing model. Gartner notes that while many vendors can discuss their ‘cloud strategy’, very often those strategies aren’t cloud-centric.
In this year’s snapshot of the current state of hype around cloud computing, Gartner positions different components of cloud technology at various stages on the graph. Things like ‘Cloud-based MDM solutions’, ‘Hybrid IT’, and the ‘Personal Cloud’ are leftmost in an area called ‘Technology Triggers’. These technologies are new and just getting exposure and attention.
At the peak of the hype are things like ‘Cloud BPM’, ‘Platform as a Service’, and ‘Hybrid Cloud Computing’.
And then there are those technologies that have crested the hype and plummeted into the more rational main stream. Interestingly, Gartner places ‘Public Cloud Storage’ nearing a low point of the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’. And ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ and ‘Software as a Service’ have already gotten through much of the rollercoaster part of the hype cycle and are on an upward slope towards ‘enlightenment’ and eventually ‘productivity’. The relative positioning of the technology points seems about right, but these latter points seem a bit premature given that we’re still very much in the early days of cloud computing and we’re likely in for more bumps ahead than what shows on Gartner’s curve.