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Reverse cloudwashing and the enterprization of Cloud Computing – lowering expectations.

by David M. Smith  |  May 4, 2012  |  Comments Off on Reverse cloudwashing and the enterprization of Cloud Computing – lowering expectations.

Everyone has heard of consumerization of IT. It’s all about how consumer focused technologies and approaches affect enterprises and IT. We’re now starting to see some of the opposite. Now we are starting to see the enterprization of the cloud. It results in lower expectations but higher prices. This is a corollary to my description of enterprise class offerings as "you can get better but you can’t pay more". What increasingly passes for "Cloud and IaaS" in the enterprise is basically hosting. And what passes for "PaaS" (sic) in the enterprise is increasingly IaaS or what I call "IaaS+" which is basically a managed stack (e.g., Amazon Beanstalk).

We’ve also heard and likely been subjected to cloudwashing. Cloudwashing is a well-known term describing how vendors (and IT) paint the cool cloud term on whatever they have, regardless of how little cloudiness their offerings exhibit. The enterprization of cloud is even causing a type of reverse cloudwashing. Now we are starting to see vendors who actually have perfectly good public cloud offerings with many of the attributes (mostly sharing) refer to their offerings as private cloud. This is due to expectations being changed certainly by some (who will go nameless – Google it) comparing public cloud to public transportation and public toilets. Another example of enterprization lowering cloud expectations (at least about the cloud capabilities.

So between cloud washing, reverse cloud washing and paas washing and the overall lowering of expectations, enterprises are getting some mighty clean clouds….which is apparently what they were expecting.


David Mitchell Smith
VP & Gartner Fellow
16 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

David Mitchell Smith is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, where he specializes in the impact of catalytic technologies such as the Internet, Web 2.0, cloud computing and consumer technologies. Read Full Bio

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