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Cloud – A term that is dying soon?

by Frank Ridder  |  September 14, 2012  |  5 Comments

When Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, started a few years back to tell everyone a focus on the cloud, the term was not defined (until then it was a regularly used symbol on network charts). That was a great moment for many marketers in the industry. Finally someone came up with a cool non-IT word into the IT world. And those marketers started to tell cloud stories – in all flavors, matching their own organizations portfolio and not a concept – as there was none. And because of these different flavors of stories, the market got confused about what cloud really means (this confusion is still there).

Now – there is high interest in the cloud and cloud starts to deliver good value to organizations – but the term itself is too broad to survive, it is connected to too many values, it means too many things to too many people. This to me could result in a potential sunset for the term cloud – in fact some service provider’s marketers plan already campaigns beyond the cloud. Maybe it is now the right time to think about the value cloud generates; and describe those with new terms and offerings.

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Frank Ridder
Managing VP
6 years at Gartner
21 years IT industry

Frank Ridder is a vice president in Gartner Research in the area of IT services and sourcing. He is mainly helping organizations through the sourcing life cycle for infrastructure services, including the data center and the end-user side. He is a leading… Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Cloud – A term that is dying soon?


  1. Paul Winer says:

    Wonderful Frank.
    After 25 years in IT I often wonder if even the marketing people get it. They come up with new terms to describe old concepts. Remember “client-server”?

    Oh yes, remember “cross-platform development”? Now Intel has now coined the phrase “transparent computing” for the ingenious NEW idea of write once, run anywhere. Hmmmm…….

  2. Therefore your fellow gartner blogger Neil MacDonald is so right in http://blogs.gartner.com/neil_macdonald/2011/07/15/seven-cloud-computing-pet-peeves/
    To make a more precise point away from technology anagrams and marketing concepts a fruitful question for potential users might be: what’s in it for me and my organisation?

  3. […] által is ködösen használt privát cloud kifejezéstől. Ennek fényében különösen érdekes Frank Ridder, a Gartner IT szolgáltatásokkal és sourcinggal kapcsolatos kutatásokért felelős alelnökének […]

  4. Isn’t it also a repetitive experience we all – as we’re in the industry for about 20+ years – made already a couple of times? Once people start understanding what a certain buzz word means, a new series of more concrete buzz words is going to be created in order to express more precisely a value relative to a certain aspect of the broad span of the original topic.
    However, the good news is that it allows companies (vendors, service providers etc.) to sharpen their positioning under the umbrella of the initial buzz word. Customer do also have then the advantage of understanding better WHO of them is capable to provide WHAT.
    Finally, nothing wrong, right?

  5. Frank Ridder says:

    Nothing wrong? Really depends on your perspective. With cloud, the industries lack the “more concrete buzz words” – everyone has them, but they do not match and therefore they do not help to remove confusion. And what you describe as good news is IMHO only good news, if this “sharpening” you mention leads to more comparability of cloud solutions – because then it becomes an advantage for buying organizations.



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