Why Companies are Still Sitting on the Cloud Sidelines

In SF, Tech Heads Argue Cloud Benefits, Drawbacks

I wasn’t there personally — at the Web.20 Summit — this week, in San Francisco.  But I did read an interesting article by a San Francisco Chronicle writer who was there. And based on the testimony he heard from various industry executives, he’s come up with an explanation as to why companies are “sitting out” cloud computing.

Sure, there was positive talk among big names like Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff; Paul Maritz, CEO of VMWare; and Andy Jassy, the head of AWS.  Those guys emphasized the good and the promise that the Cloud offers — for example, flexibility, cost savings, and greater productivity.

But speaking there, too, was Rackspace CTO John Engates. He explained why companies aren’t moving to the cloud, for example:

  • Security — IT pros still prefer physical control of their data, and, sad to say, many  still don’t trust it off site;
  • It’s too hard — Moving apps to the Cloud seems complicated;
  • Proprietary — it’s too hard to move data between systems;
  • It’s time-consuming and complicated to re-architect current apps;
  • The mistaken belief that you’re all or nothing, that you’re either cloud or on-premise, but not both;
  • Support doesn’t seem like it’s a big priority for many cloud computing vendors, and that turns users off;
  • Cloud computing — the concept — is confusing to a lot of people.  How is it different from hosting or outsourcing? What’s needed is for providers to offer clear definitions of what they’re offering on the Cloud and why it’s better than, let’s say, outsourcing.

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