Gauging the Cloud Computing Confidence Level Among Businesses

It's rather difficult to get a good read on public opinion, especially about things that half of them don't know about. Cloud computing is one of those things.

How does one get a really good view on the overall public perception of particular things? Sure, you've got your own personal opinions, but they may be years ahead or behind the bulk of the public, depending on what exactly the subject is. We're speaking very generally right now and philosophically at that, but this is a general topic that is extremely relevant. How can we really gauge things, and not just model them and pretend as if we're doing something real.

Political polls claim to be judges of public opinion. They are somewhat accurate, but you're taking thousands of people and claiming that they are representative of millions. Something seems fundamentally wrong. Thus, to claim that we know anything except very limited knowledge based on polling would be a lie.

As Above, So Below
This principle is just as true when it comes to overall confidence levels among today's businesses regarding cloud computing. How can we get an honest assessment? It seems that all we have are polls and various other forms of extrapolation. Not to worry, however; we can just as easily use inductive reasoning.

Cloud computing is a highly advanced platform that promises to take computing to a whole new level of scalability, functionality, and affordability. Services like SaaS and IaaS are all geared toward offering the most high-performance computing tools in the most flexible packages at the best prices on the market. It's much more high speed than the traditional route, and cuts out both the lag and the markups of traditional product delivery.

Just on the revolutionary merit of the offerings alone, it would be quite reasonable to assume that a large percentage of today's businesses are highly confident in everything that the cloud has to offer them. However, this would mean that there would be a higher level of cloud adoption. What we're actually seeing is a slight downtick in adoption... a negative trend.

The Culprit
What could be affecting cloud confidence in such a negative way? One word: security. No matter what lengths providers go to in order to protect their customers from invasion and theft, potential customers will have a very difficult time being convinced that an Internet-based system like the cloud is going to be totally safe from hackers.

Another problem right now for many potential cloud customers is the fact that the service providers are in control of the overall nature of the service. This means that the service, no matter how customizable it claims to be, is not going to be completely satisfactory for everybody. And then there's also the poor, negligible regulation for the industry thus far. It's like the Wild West, and individual players in the industry are more interested in gaining the upper hand than in reaching across and regulating.

These problems are more principle than practical, it seems, but are in need of being addressed nonetheless. The cloud will not take off the way its architects imagine until they are solved.

© 2008 SYS-CON Media