In 2008 the majority of Internet users were concerned with the safety of using credit cards online. Giving out personal information when making purchases online was a decision rot with fear and anxiety. Yet the convenience, and savings, of shopping online has outweighed these concerns, and today the E-retail industry is aimed to increase by 62% by 2016.
I think the Cloud Computing Industry is similar to the eCommerce Industry, and that’s why I’m not worried.
Today when I talk to business owners, sys admins, and cloud consultants, I often hear statements layered with fear and anxiety about moving internal systems, hardware and entire networks to the cloud. As an Internet native millennial I can approach cloud security, compliance, and transparency with an open mind because I don’t have to change. But, I also look to the eCommerce industry of 2008 as an awesome example of a mind shift resulting in industry growth.
What can we do to make sure the cloud computing industry has a similar trajectory?
1) Focus on value for both audiences
As an industry we have two audiences: The CEO or executive, who is interested in economic value, and the CIO or IT staff who is interested in minimizing risk and increasing benefits.
Cloud security and compliance are major issues to overcome, but attacking them head on is a never ending battle that we will have to constantly win behind the scenes. Better yet, we should focus our resources on the economic value and benefits of leveraging the power of the cloud. Acceptance of the value of cloud computing will make any challenge attainable.
2) Promote early adopters
In 1994 Pizza Hut started offering online order, a huge leap for the eCommerce industry. But within the cloud computing world, we’ve yet to see the break-out star.
We should be featuring the major brands, IT departments, and CEOs that choose to leverage multiple public cloud providers, but we’re not, instead the fear of the cloud is overshadowing the growth. However, on a positive not Forrester and others have forecasted that global cloud computing will grow to 241 Billion in 2020. While many companies are leveraging the cloud for specific services like backup and storage, few have outsourced the majority of their applications and infrastructure.
3) Make it easy
The eCommerce industry made it simple to purchase, and now almost every eCommerce site uses the same process to sell items online. The cloud industry needs to make it easy to leverage multiple cloud providers in order to gain the benefits the customer wants, as well as making it easy to leverage the cloud rather than make one major move to just one cloud provider.
So, it is not that I don’t care that you fear the Cloud, it is that I know the event horizon is near. I know that cloud providers will learn to focus on the value of the cloud, we will promote our early adopters, and make it easier to leverage the cloud with multiple cloud providers. Like the road to Mordor, the road to success is paved with many failed attempts, but similar to Frodo the cloud industry will have a valiant tale to tell when they reach the top.