Clearing the Cloud

The cloud is easy. Just make sure vendors don’t get in the way.

Vendors know things. They speak a special language, an information technology dialect that most small and midsize manufacturers can’t fathom, but that they respect nonetheless. These manufacturers are turning to experts, after all, since tech is something in which they don’t specialize. They cut the vendor some slack; they reason that IT types aren’t really proficient in their line of work, either.

What inspired this riff is “Complicating the Cloud,” a recent, insightful article by tech industry guru Jeff Kaplan. Kaplan makes a number of trenchant points, many of them coalescing around the idea that the vendor community has a vested interest in complexity. That meshes with my belief that it really is easy to get into the cloud – if the decision makers don’t allow the vendors to make it difficult.

Here’s what Kaplan has to say: “I have to admit that the cloud industry is doing a great job of making it increasingly difficult for … corporate decision makers to feel confident about making the move,” he writes. “The initial success of the cloud movement has created a series of problems. First, there’s the proliferation of players … some of whom rebrand or ‘cloud-wash’ legacy systems for this new market … [They want to] join the ‘cloud rush,’ [by] adding more solutions to their portfolios.” And these tendencies, as he sees them, have made migration to the cloud needlessly

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