I just finished two webinars last week on Evaluating Cloud Providers. Attendance was really fantastic and I hope our research has helped a variety of companies in their journey of evaluating cloud providers. Below are my thoughts from the sessions.
First I want to confirm that I received some negative feedback after the first webinar about not posting the actual evaluation questions in the slides. Participants were disappointed they couldn’t screen scrape the questions and were unable to take notes as quickly as I was talking. I made a change for the later webinar and that is the one now posted on Gartner.com for replay. If you were in the first webinar and shared this sentiment, please go back to the replay for the list of questions on the slides.
At the end of the webinar I concluded that taking a traditional vendor management approach of building RFIs and RFPs while necessary today, is simply not sustainable for customers or providers. Gartner is therefore working on cloud provider evaluation criteria and we are soliciting your help. We are asking anyone interested to send us their lists of cloud evaluation questions and we’ll consolidate them into a master list. In fact we already have a large set of questions in draft form and will be working to finalize by the end of 2011.
Once we publish this list of questions we’ll be asking cloud providers to respond to the questions and we’ll share those responses. Our goal is to limit the cycle time of cloud evaluations by centralizing the answers to many of the common questions. Customers can then use the published results to narrow their search or to move forward with a much smaller subset of questions specific to their business or use cases.
In the end it is about using our economies of scale collectively, to centralize questions and answers, and improve time to market with cloud providers for all of us.
I hope you’ll join us on this endeavor. You can send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep all questions anonymous and consolidate them all together.
Secondly, I wanted to highlight the results of three survey questions during the webinar and add my perspective.
The first question above emphasizes that everyone in our organizations is interested and involved in cloud services and in evaluating cloud service providers. These statistics provide evidence to my argument in the webinar that it truly takes a cross functional team of management, procurement, legal, risk, compliance, security, and infrastructure engineers to properly assess and evaluate cloud providers.
The majority response of letter C above reiterates how important evaluating cloud providers is right now. The majority of participants are planning to start evaluating cloud providers in the next year. This should be a word of caution for cloud providers to understand evaluation questions are coming soon, and in a flurry. This is even more evidence while the upcoming research and work by Gartner will be valuable.
Highlighting the responses in letter B and letter E confirm Gartner’s research that customers are really struggling to develop evaluation criteria and when they do, Cloud providers are not responding in accurate, transparent, or timely fashion. Cloud providers are under incredible pressure to respond to the large number of requests that come in daily and unfortunately this means that not all requests get responses.
Will you join us in centralizing evaluations of cloud providers?