Cloud Washing Anyone?

Like the term “Green Washing” that is often bandied about in relation to environmental causes I think we are starting to see “Cloud Washing” being applied to the Cloud Computing initiatives. Forrester's Frank Gillett used this term in the video below. There are several check points or realities at work here. First, Cloud Computing will take more than a decade – just like several of the initiatives before it.

Cloud Washing
There are many points of view on cloud computing. I think most of them have a grain of truth to them. Overall it seems there is a lot of confusion – which needs to be channeled properly in order to drive the industry forward. Several “standards” bodies are being developed to put some rhyme and reason to the concept, implementation, and deployment of Cloud Computing solutions. Which leads to the second reality.

A second reality is … until firms have offerings that match with the Cloud Computing model it will be ridiculed and lambasted.

As Forrester's Frank Gillett said in the video – Companies are using their “Cloud Spray” to label their offerings as cloud ready. I think Frank’s video interview is spot on and in just a few minutes he spells out the state of the industry today, where it’s going, and equally important – where it came from.

If you want to read some of my other posts on Cloud Computing take a look at the list below. Comments, Critiques, and and open invitation to collaborate on future posts are welcome.

My Thoughts about Cloud Computing:

What do the pundits say?

LOTS. Articles and videos on Clouds and a little about Cloud Washing too.

A few video & audio points of view:

What did they say?

Larry Ellison – Cloud Computing is Crazy!


Steve Ballmer – Cloud Computing is not the data center

Forrester's Frank Gillett –
Big Companies have Cloud Envy

Anna Ewing – NASDAQ: Sees Cloud Computing as a distribution Channel.

Russ Daniels – HP’s VP of Cloud: See the Cloud as a way to Reduce Operating costs

Clearly there is a lot of confusion in the terms used to define the concept of Cloud Computing. More clarity and focus will come into play as more customers start to demand their offerings be delivered via the cloud – whatever that means. This is where the second reality will come into play. Technology companies WILL figure out how to monetize their offerings and WILL label them as Cloud Computing solutions. Why? Because customers demand it.

What do you think?

  • Is Cloud Computing well defined?
  • Does Cloud Computing have a viable future?
  • Will companies really put their data in the cloud?

If you have a different opinion or if you concur with what you’ve seen here I’d love to hear from you. My contact information is below.

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM space. I spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

** I am available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. My areas of emphasis are business development and alliance management at the Intersection of Enterprise Content Management and Social Media.

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Kevin Neal said…
Nice post Jeff. Too bad it took me 5 years to find it :-).

Cloud Is A Fad *insert sarcasm here*
Jeff this is needed, a clear definition and then companies to operate with integrity to stop confusing consumers.
Karl Schulmeisters said…
I agree that there still is a lot of CloudWashing going on. Basically a lot of the Outsourced Data Center vendors like Rackspace thought they could continue by simply adding Server Consolidation capabilities and user driven provisioning. And it worked for a while. But that's starting to catch up.