Is the whole “cloud computing” craze overhyped? Here’s one clue it might be: Lots of companies are boasting about how they’re cloud computing players, but there’s still no real definition of what cloud computing is.
Consulting heavyweight McKinsey weighs in. In a new report, “clearing the air on cloud computing,” McKinsey deflates some of the claims made about the cloud, saying the buzz is disconnected from reality and the promised cost savings just aren’t there yet.
The whole thing (PDF download) is worth reading. Executive summary:
- There’s a lot of “irrational exuberance and unrealistic expectations” about cloud computing, and the technology is currently at the peak of the IT hype cycle.
- The hype is so strong there’s 22 different definitions of just what cloud computing is as everyone tries to glom onto the buzz.
- Critically, cloud computing can actually be more expensive for big business than traditional IT solutions (data centres). In one “disguised client example,” McKinsey reported total IT costs would rise 144% with a cloud computing approach.
- Cloud uptime guarantees lag behind what big businesses can achieve on their own, something we’ve noted.
But the news isn’t all bad for cloud computing players: Startups and small-to-medium sized business can see gains by ‘going cloud’ that still elude big business. But near team, massive public companies remain better off using “virtualization” to squeeze more out of existing data centres than just going cloud for the sake of cloud. (And we think most — if not all — of them realise that.)
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