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Cloud Computing: Why Private Clouds Fail

By Dick Weisinger

While many businesses are pursuing the benefits of cloud technology while maintaining a handle on security by building private clouds, increasingly the opinion is that most of these projects are doomed to fail.  Both Gartner and Forrester have noted that the private cloud project failure rate is high.

Tom Bittman, Gartner analyst, reports that 95 percent of attempts by businesses to build private clouds run into serious problems.

Matt Assay, for example explained the problem, saying that “if the whole purpose of cloud computing is to enable elasticity of resources to drive business flexibility, setting up an internal cloud (as opposed to provisioning data center resources) simply won’t get an enterprise far. Companies often dress up virtualization as cloud and predictably fail to get promised cloud benefits.”

Assay quotes Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services (AWS) executive, who said that “companies usually are not able to provision accurately the amount of data center capacity that they require, and this problem recurs when they create their own internal cloud infrastructure.”

As Gartner’s Bittman commented: “jamming cloud into your existing process model and organization structure ain’t gonna work.”

Why do private clouds fail?  The reasons may be no different than why any kind of project can fail, for example:

  • Expectations aren’t properly managed.  Avoid excessive hype of potential benefits.
  • Misunderstood business requirements
  • Evaluated on the wrong metrics.  The cloud brings more benefits than just potential cost savings.
  • Lack of strategic planning
  • Lack of a holistic architecture
  • Lack of appropriate technical skills
  • Use of inappropriate IT tools
  • Trying to do too much at once
  • Failure to use the public cloud when appropriate
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2 comments on “Cloud Computing: Why Private Clouds Fail
  1. Christine says:

    I think that wrong usage of public cloud and lack of technical skills are two main reason of modest success of private clouds. But we will not wait too long for it. This concept will be on fire very soon.

  2. Manoj says:

    I think small business companies should not even attempt to make their own cloud computing setup. Security can be a big issue & a major reason to fail. Your blog will be helpful for thoughs who are planning to do so. Thanks for sharing the infromation!

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