How Has Our Perception Of Cloud Computing Shifted?


When cloud computing first surfaced, no one was sure what to make of it. That’s no longer the case. Our perception of the cloud has changed – We’ll explore how.

Back in the early days of the cloud, no one was entirely certain what to make of it. Most people knew – at least on some level – that the technology was groundbreaking, but we had little to go on save half-hearted predictions and meaningless hearsay. Initially, most businesses didn’t even fully understand what the cloud was.

As a result. the cloud had its fair share of adherents and detractors – and there were people on both sides who didn’t grasp anything beyond vagaries.

The Early Days

Like any new technology, cloud computing had its growing pains. Bandwidth and data location, for example, were a significant issue. Networks in 2009 weren’t necessarily built to handle something as demanding as the cloud, meaning that the cloud simply wasn’t a viable choice for many smaller businesses.

With the development of new networking hardware, that’s ceased to be as much of an issue, but other problems – such as security and data ownership – continue to be a thorn in the side of the cloud to this day.

See, since cloud computing was such a new technology, no laws yet existed to address privacy. Worse, because so few professionals fully understood the cloud, most of them didn’t really grasp how to secure it. This, in turn, led to the perception of the cloud as unsafe; something which was only exacerbated by vendors dragging their feet on data safety.

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate all of this is with a few raw facts:

In a 2008 survey of several IT and business leaders, CIO found that somewhere around 47% were either already using the cloud or actively researching it. 58% of respondents said the cloud would be world-changing (and it has been). At the same time, many of those same respondents – 59% in total – said that the cloud was not yet secure enough for them to trust and that vendors weren’t doing an adequate enough job of protecting them.

So, to sum it up, the early perception of the cloud was – fittingly enough – quite foggy. Although most agreed it was a powerful technology, no one was all that certain what it actually entailed.

The Modern Cloud

There are still problems with the cloud, of course. Today, however, the myriad voices condemning it for being unsafe or calling it out for not being viable have more or less fallen silent. IT leaders and organizations alike have a more complete, thorough understanding of cloud computing – far beyond the confusing jumble of technology implied by the buzzword.

In tandem with that, more and more businesses have realized the value of the services and solutions that comprise the cloud; and more businesses are using it than ever before.

Again, I’ll demonstrate my points with a few figures:

In its State Of The Cloud Survey, Rightscale found that 94% of organizations are either running applications or experimenting with an IaaS solution; 87% are using a public cloud, and 74% have a hybrid cloud strategy. The number of respondents who saw security as a challenge has also decreased significantly – 31% among beginners, 27% among intermediates, and 13% among cloud-focused enterprises.

In short, if the cloud hasn’t already reached maturity as a technology, it’s certainly on the cusp of doing so.

 

A Bright Future Lies Ahead

Back in the earliest days of cloud computing, no one was entirely certain what to make of it. It was a new, ill-understood technology; one whose reputation was rife with fear, uncertainty, and doubt regarding its viability and security. Today, six years after it first came to prominence, it’s become one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world – you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of it.

As the technology has matured, so too have our perspectives on it. Where once the cloud was regarded in only the vaguest sense, more and more businesses are displaying a thorough understanding of it. The future of the cloud has never looked brighter.

Ted is the technical writer and inbound marketer for ComputeNext, an innovative cloud marketplace company. Check out the ComputeNext blog for the latest in cloud computing and IaaS technology. Follow them on Twitter, Like them on Facebook, and engage in the discussion at https://www.computenext.com/blog/.

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