Here’s a good example of Gartner’s Hype Cycle (1995).

The Hype Cycle (Gartner, 1995)

Cloud computing is here. In a booklet released this week, “The Big Little Box of Nexts: Trendspotting for 2012”, ad agency EuroRSCG writes,

We assume you already know the cloud is the big news, with all of us storing our vitals on a fluffy cloud in the (virtual) sky, but what else is trending? (p134)

And then they go on to quote Geekettes, Personal Connectivity, “Got Tablet”, Pittsburgh being the next Silicon Valley and Robotics as the 5 trends to watch. It’s lightweight and an interesting quick read… but it dismisses Cloud Computing as so trendy it’s not cool to discuss. And that’s interesting!

You see, many businesses haven’t come around to embracing it yet. Many consumers, on the other hand, have. Drop box, icloud, box are three of the services that I use. One day my office will go cloud and I won’t need all my personal space. Or will I? But it’s more than that. It’s about an infrastructure rethink. As CommBank CIO, Michael Harte, says:

“When you look at [cloud computing] from an enterprise point of view you’d say, hell we’re really stuck in an old IT model. We’ve got 50 to 80 per cent of all of what we spend a year tied up in infrastructure and that infrastructure isn’t conferring any strategic advantage; it’s just a cost of doing business.”


Now the MD of Aussie cloud computing startup Ninefold, Peter James adds a different sort of fuel the fire. Keeping up with the Joneses:

In February 2011, the then US Government Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, shook up the US establishment with the announcement of his Cloud First policy. Cloud First means that the US Government is now firmly on board for the great cloud computing ride… With the US and now UK examples, surely its time to call in the cavalry and have Australian governments follow this lead. Without federal, state, territory and local governments playing a leading role there is a real risk that the innovations and investments made by Australian ICT companies will not be enough to prevent Australian cloud from lagging further behind.Cloud computing adoption in this country is calling out for some real leadership. Where is our own Vivek Kundra going to come from?


The ripost:

Do we need a more concerted effort from CIOs, vendors, government figures and so on on the cloud? Do we need Australia’s own Federal Government CIO, Ann Steward, to make some sort of dramatic ‘Cloud First’ statement? Personally, I’m not sure.

I think much of what James is talking about with respect to the cloud in Australia refers to the cloud at “The Peak of Inflated Expectations” on Gartner’s hype cycle. Cloud First sounds great in practice … but like any artificial imposition on technology projects, it’s not something that will be held to in practice — and if it is, it has the potential to be harmful.


What it does go to show is that we have only one direction to go in. It’s a question of how quickly we can afford to go in that direction. I think – from an Australian perspective – to discard cloud computing as old news is foolhardy. Aka – having one’s head in the cloud. Or not, as the case may be.

[Thanks to @renailemay whose articles I’ve discovered for the first time today.]