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Why Public Cloud Will Be Vastly Better Than Private Cloud

by Nick Gall  |  December 1, 2010  |  4 Comments

General Electric

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It’s not just about size. Public cloud is someone’s front office, but private cloud is someone’s back office. I’ve seen only a relative few good back offices, even fewer great back offices. I’ve never seen a back office that was world class, Type A, game changer, best of breed, etc.

Your back room is somebody else’s front room. Back rooms by definition will never be able to attract YOUR BEST. We converted ours into someone else’s front room and insisted on getting THEIR BEST. This is what outsourcing is all about.
Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
From Jack: Straight from the Gut

The economics of back office clouds will never come close to front office clouds.

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Category: cloud  

Nicholas Gall
VP Distinguished Analyst
14 years at Gartner
35 years IT industry

Nick Gall is a vice president in Gartner Research. As a founding member of Gartner’s Enterprise Planning and Architecture Strategies, Mr. Gall advises clients on enterprise strategies for interoperability, innovation and execution. Mr. Gall is a leading authority on middleware… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Why Public Cloud Will Be Vastly Better Than Private Cloud

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Gall, Stephen G Bennett. Stephen G Bennett said: Why Public #cloud Will Be Vastly Better Than Private #cloud […]

  2. Hey Nick,
    Hope you’re well.

    I’d agree with your statement about the economics of public vs. private clouds. In fact, I think the entire world would agree – – – when we’re talking purely about the ‘economics’. Of course, that’s only one part of the equation. We all know that the enterprise will not just torch their data centers, servers and such. They’re going to be around for a long, long time. Our clients are adopting both private and public clouds – and using a consistent delivery and operating model for both. IMHO, the ‘public vs. private’ debate misses the point, and is distracting.

    More on the topic:


  3. Nick Gall says:

    Thanks for the feedback Jeff. I agree that the public vs. private cloud discussion is annoying, but I think it is important. I’m not saying that enterprises will torch their data centers tomorrow. I don’t think anyone is. I think everyone agrees this is a 20-30 year trend, just as electrification of industry was. I also think that the enterprises with the biggest investment in data centers and the skills to run them will be the last to migrate.

    All this said, I think it is important to warn enterprises who want all the advantages of cloud and all the advantages of on prem, that you can’t have both. There must be significant trade-offs. Some enterprises seem to believe that if they buy all the same kit that public cloud providers use, that they can use said kit to run their own cloud at nearly as low a cost as the public cloud provider. It’s only such delusional thinking I am attacking.

    If an enterprise attempts to run its own data center “in a more cloud like way” (whatever that means), and understands that by doing so it will achieve SOME cost reductions–but nothing close to the cost reductions offered by public cloud–then I say to that enterprise, “More power to you!”

  4. Those are great points. I’m hopeful that the analyst community (and media) will share your view. It’s been my recent experience (in SOA) that sensationalism overtook sound analysis and reporting. Any yes, too many of my very busy clients only read the headlines, not the posts/articles.

    Yesterday, I was at a client teaching our SOA course and used the Amazon EC2 services as examples. This was the first time any of the attendees had seen ‘services for infrastructure’ (IaaS). The classroom went from a rather dull discussion on service protocols – to an engaged roar on how they could use cloud (albeit, not public – at least for the moment).

    The ‘intellectual critical mass’ has moved beyond the debate of “if we should do it” (as-a-Service), and has now moved on to “how do we do it”. The practical approach for the vast majority will be private –> (a bit of) public –> hybrid. Ultimately, if we slow down the transition to private, we unintentionally slow down public.

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