We know the term ‘cloud’ has suffered slightly from the hype surrounding this technology for many years. Apart from anything else the term itself has been a bit used and abused. Today ‘cloud’ is used to mean whatever anybody wants it to mean – anything from hosted servers for SMEs to file-sharing smartphone apps can be described as cloud solutions.
As a result a certain level of scepticism about cloud is perhaps to be expected. However, we truly believe that this scepticism is unfounded.
The author of Gartner’s Hype Cycle report acknowledges that: “… what we’re seeing is a shift from people focused on supporting the infrastructure for supporting information, applications, systems in the cloud… to how we actually apply some of the uses of cloud, big data, and social to real business problems. We’re looking at a shift from a focus on the technology to actually applying this technology to real business needs and business outcomes.”
We would actually go a step further than that and argue that focusing on the ‘cloud’ itself is a bit of a red herring. Cloud needs to be seen as a backbone to delivering innovative new services for businesses. This goes way beyond storage. Cloud-based infrastructure can be delivered in a far more flexible way than on-site servers. Services are easily scalable and can be provided on a OpEx basis rather than the traditional CapEx basis – giving businesses far more control over the solutions they are paying for.
In our experience businesses and IT managers have moved on from questioning the benefits of the cloud – cloud is almost universally accepted as the future of IT infrastructure. The real question for organisations now is “what services does cloud enable?”
And the answer to that question is developing all the time – whether it is delivering Disaster Recovery as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Unified Communications as a Service or enterprise-grade file sharing services, the gains from moving to cloud-based infrastructure are growing all the time.
Far from being ‘disillusioned’ by cloud, we would say our customers are positively enthused and hungry for what the cloud can deliver.