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Cloud Marketing: Dont Fear the Hype

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  • 1. Cloud Marketing: Don’t Fear the Hype Focus Research ©2012 All Rights Reserved
  • 2. Cloud Marketing: Don’t Fear the HypeWe’ve all been there before—trapped in a conference room during a dull marketing presentation thatinspires yawns, makes your eyes glaze over, and completely tune out. Cloud marketing presentations areno exception when it comes to inspiring ennui and boredom. But have you sat through a cloud vendor’ssnooze-fest and been jarred back to consciousness by your internal early-warning system? Lori Janjigianat Focus was curious about what red flags folks are seeing, so she asked: “What are the top three thingsthat scare you in the marketing presentation of a vendor providing cloud services?”Stop snoring, wipe the drool from your chin, and be on the lookout for these warning signs.BrainWave Consulting’s Andrew S. Baker has three very specific concerns, and sums them up succinctly: • “Indiscriminate use of the term ‘seamless’ for items that you know will require interaction with someone • “Absolutely no mention of backup and recovery options • “The implication of automatic fail-over on one slide, when other slides show backups and disaster recovery as value-add services”Anders Trolle-Schultz, managing partner at SaaS-it Consult, covers his eyes when vendors threaten toopen the kimono. “Most of the presentations use the [idea that] Cloud = Value, and to be honest, cloudisn’t a value in itself. It is just a production method. Have you ever heard Coca-Cola promote how theymake Coca-Cola?” He adds that “Many IT vendors are selling cloud and not the value that The Cloud canbring.”SummaLogic’s Robert Keahey gets granular, explaining what sets off his alert system during presosby IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS vendors. For cloud providers of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Keahey isskeptical about claims of reliability. He says that customers should certainly expect an IaaS vendor to bereliable and responsive to their needs. But, being realistic, Keahey notes that “things eventually ‘go bumpin the night,’ and outages do occur.” He’d rather see cloud providers “focus on resiliency, or the abilityto minimize the impact of outages and sustain services as much as possible, and provide a manageablefailover capability. Too many times we test our failover capabilities during a real failure. Not a good idea.”PaaS providers can’t be believed when they spin the “develop on my platform and you can deployanywhere” story, Keahey says. “It just doesn’t happen that way in the majority of cases. The unforeseenCloud Marketing: Don’t Fear the Hype Focus Research ©2012 2
  • 3. integration costs that ultimately surface can be significant and can derail even the best of cloud strategies.Integration of cloud-based services can be challenging. Add on top of that the issues of managing servicelevels for applications and services that are outside of your direct control, [and it] can be time-consumingand expensive. Look for cloud providers who can demonstrate real-world examples of customer solutionsthat have been implemented on their platform.”Finally, Keahey doesn’t buy the “we’re cheaper because you don’t have any infrastructure or supportstaff costs” pitch from SasS providers. “Granted, those costs are transferred to the service providerand customers can leverage volume discounts to improve and control their costs,” he says. “But thereare often other costs associated with user administration, configuration, customization, reporting, andaccounting that cut into those savings.”As cloud strategist at Mimecast, nothing raises Justin Pirie’s hackles like plain, old-fashionedcloudwashing. “The thing that really scares me is ‘cloudwashed’ systems that pretend to be [cloudsystems] but aren’t,” he says. Pirie sees those claims coming from vendors who are “trying to ‘cloudify’their existing systems without rebuilding or rearchitecting them. The customer could end up in the worstof all worlds, a crappy system out of their control. Watch out!” Pirie also warns that security claims shouldbe taken with a grain of salt: “You need to understand whether the vendor has taken the right steps tosecure your data, for the type of data that you’re going to hold with them, remembering not all data needsto be secured in the same way.” Due diligence is key, he says, and recommends that buyers “make sureit’s really a cloud service you’re buying—not some dressed up on-premise service—and make sure thesecurity of the service matches up to the type of data you’re looking to store with them.”What cloud vendor claims get your dander up? Are there claims that send up red flags when you hear them? Alec Wagner is a writer, editor, custom content specialist, and content marketing professional. A former managing editor of infoworld.com, he has trained his eye on the enterprise technology space for more than a dozen years. A longtime digital nomad, he divides his time between San Francisco and the South of France. He remembers to thank The Cloud daily for enabling his globetrotting ways. Mr. Wagner also enjoys lively debates about how warring tribes (be it business vs. IT, dev vs. ops, or sales vs. marketing) can find ways to work together better. He is of the opinion that the old chestnut, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team,’ ” is quite hackneyed, yet altogether true.Cloud Marketing: Don’t Fear the Hype Focus Research ©2012 3