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Has cloud computing been a failed revolution?

Bernard Golden | June 5, 2014
Talk to IT personnel, or study what they look up on Google, and you may think they're done with cloud computing. Talk to analysts, though -- or, more importantly, end users -- and you'll hear a different story.

There's no excuse for this ignorance or lack of on-the-ground progress. Amazon Web Services launched close to a decade ago. NIST released the first draft of its cloud computing definition five years ago, clearly identifying what's needed to achieve real cloud functionality.

Users Want the Cloud Even if IT Doesn't
Given the lack of progress, you might think cloud computing's heyday has passed - or, maybe, that it never even occurred, that it represents just one of another in the long line of failed IT revolutions, consigned to the ash heap along with network computers and standalone PDAs.

That would be wrong. In Gartner's latest 2014 IaaS Magic Quadrant, Amazon retains its far-in-the-front position, so much so that Gartner says Amazon has actually increased its overall market share. (Leong, it's worth noting, leads the Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant effort).

Amazon Web Services so dominates the IaaS market that Gartner's Magic Quadrant may soon take on a new shape.

Dissatisfied with the tardy pace of internal IT, developers and business units are turning to AWS and other public cloud service providers at an increasing rate. Far from indicating a lack of enthusiasm or fatigue regarding cloud computing, this adoption can be seen in the Google Trend for searches on the term "Amazon Web Services" (below). Search activity for this term is steadily growing, indicating a focused interest in realizing the benefits of cloud computing via its leading provider.

More specific searches, such as "Amazon Web Services," suggest that cloud computing interest isn't waning after all.

Despite the endless discussion by vendors and in the trade press about how corporations will soon end their dalliance with public cloud computing and return to internally hosted cloud environments, the reality is that IT users are rapidly adopting public cloud computing. Given the slow progress of internally implemented solutions, expect this trend to continue to explode.

Unless IT steps up the pace of implementation, the next five years will be a period of intense pain for IT organizations as they try to find a new role that keeps them relevant to users, who will continue embrace providers more responsive to their needs.


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