If you read all the press releases from many of the new
vendors then the answer is yes, there is much hype surrounding the “cloud”.
If you read the results from the
latest Tech Target Cloud Adoption Index you would say “No” that the
market is flat or even down slightly this quarter.

Results from surveys and proclamations from vendors can
often be misleading.  What I am seeing as
an in-the-trenches provider of IT management, monitoring, maintenance and
security services, is a moderate level of cloud adoption taking place. It is not the wholesale
adoption many would lead you to believe.  Why is this?  Simply it is
the ROI.  Most cloud investments exceed their purchased IT counterparts in
terms of cost over five years.  Normally
it takes between month 24 and month 27 for a cloud adoption to equal its capex
counterpart costs when you take into account all of the expenses for both IT
approaches.  In other words, after about two years of owning a cloud, a
similar business with a capitalized investment is going to be using their
system for free until they
decide to start retiring or replacing the assets at the typical three to
five year time frame.  This
leaves management with some decisions to make as to what role do they want in
managing IT. Do they want capex or opex expenses? How soon will they be doing a
technology refresh? What regulatory issues like HIPAA and HITECH must they deal with and how is that
impacted by cloud or no cloud?

Every new cycle in IT I see the hype.  Let me share one
of my favorite quotes.  It is sometimes called Amara’s Law from a research
scientist born in 1925 who went on to be president of the Institute for the
Future.  His quote, “We tend to
overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the
effect in the long run,” is often borrowed by technology trend book
authors as well.  That is because it is so true.  If you want a good
example of the hype just look at the irrational exuberance of the Dot Com era
and its subsequent bust.  Many got way too caught up in immature companies
in an immature market.  At that time the Internet really did not prevail
much in our everyday life, but look at how it has now caught up with us a dozen
years later.  We still have most of our
brick-and-mortar options too.    And so it will be with cloud

Here is the Tech Target story on the topic:

Computing Adoption Numbers Don’t Add Up to Vendor Noise

Here is another interesting column talking about the cloud
hype cycle:

Hype Series Part II: Let’s Start Looking Beyond the Hype