A recent roundtable discussion hosted by FAST has concluded that even some of the UK biggest enterprises are failing to get to grips with the concept of Cloud Computing – and has highlighted concerns about it being turned into a ‘fashion industry’.
FAST, a leading authority on software and IT compliance, gathered a number of IT experts from Oracle, Salesforce.com, Webroot, Fujitsu, IBM, BCS, Oracle User Group, FTSE 100 clients, Cloud Industry Forum, Pinsent Masons and analyst Quocirca to give views on why organisations are struggling with what Cloud is.
A key driver for the discussion was how Cloud Computing has evolved over recent years and how it’s being seen as a new revolution in IT services. Clive Longbottom at Quocirca said that Cloud Computing is a complete game-changer: “When the web came along, I think we saw it changed the whole way that people looked at technology, and I think that Cloud takes web to the next level. Small companies can suddenly have access to technology that they could only dream of before, and not only that, but they also get the opportunity to be far more flexible than they have been in the past.”
Webroot’s Ian Moyse, however, believes that vendors must play a key role in education: “There are a lot of vendors now claiming that they offer Cloud, but the reality is that 99 per cent of their businesses aren’t even ‘Cloud’. They’re seeing the demand in the market and seeing that people are interested in it right now, and they profess to be able to offer some form of Cloud – which will just add more confusion from an end user perspective.”
Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group added that the industry has been victims of maintaining a ‘fashion parade’ and that the Cloud industry is selling to itself. “Large customers are engaging with large vendors,” he said. “My criticism is that we have turned Cloud into a fashion industry and we’ve been selling to a closed room of the same old buyers.
“We’ve developed a huge language of complexity that we are immersing our customers in. We are selling IT to IT. Now how does that truly move us forward? When you clear the fog of hype which is Cloud, you find that there are a herd of elephants in the room. It is IT’s responsibility to deal with those elephants and to deal with the cloud of hype.”