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Cloud computing to burst in next year: Gartner

Cloud computing offers significant benefits, but will account for only a fifth of overall enterprise IT by 2012 and will leave many businesses disappointed, a Gartner analyst has claimed.


Speaking at Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Cannes, Gartner vice president David Cearley said that by 2012, 20% of businesses would be using cloud computing for part of their IT infrastructure -- a figure which contrasts sharply with the build-up surrounding the concept of on-demand, elastic computing services.

"Cloud computing is one of the most hyped terms in the industry right now," Cearley said. "In many ways it's overhyped. In the next 12-18 months, it's going to crash into the trough of disillusionment. But we do think cloud computing is going to be a very important long-term phenomena."

"You hear a lot about cloud computing today, and we do think we're going to see rapid growth over the next few years. By 2012, about 20% of user organisations will rely on the cloud model for significant parts of their IT environment. Even a few years from now, it's not necessarily going to be the dominant form of comp in your environment. It's going to be a broad, long-term phenomenon. "

Cloud computing delivers more benefits when applications are designed to take advantage of it from the outset, rather than simply used as an alternative delivery model. "We have seen a number of failures where people have taken a standard existing enterprise application which doesn't require any significant change and moved onto the cloud," Cearley said. "Not surprisingly, companies that just try and do that oftentimes find that it may be less secure and it didn't save them any money."

"It's applications that have variable resource requirements or where there's a need to extend the existing capabilities, those are the kinds of applications that benefit the most from moving to a cloud computing model. A hybrid model that will look at combining external and internal resources is going to be the best practice approach for most organisations for quite some time."

Cearley also warned against the notion that using the cloud automatically provided greater flexibility. "You are buying into particular vendor approaches, particularly when you get to the cloud computing infrastructure layer. You have a certain degree of lock-in when you're talking about these providers. If you've built on a Force.com platform, you're not going to port that. That's an important trade-off that you need to start looking at."


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