Cloudwashing Failed – Now We Need New Metaphors

I’ve talked with thousands of people over the past few years about the “cloud.”

What’s apparent? The real cloud services providers like Amazon Web Services have won. Cloudwashing has failed. The losers are back pedaling.The winners are the new service providers and the ecosystem that help customers be innovative and do things fast.

Most customers don’t want to own vast data centers. Using on-premise legacy software that causes server sprawl can not be tamed by purchasing more servers and making it a “cloud.”

George Reese of EnStratus said on Twitter today that cloudwashing is beginning to fail but “the cloud washers still sell a lot of deals based on uneducated customers taking their word.”

And that’s why we need new metaphors to help everyone better understand what the cloud means.

That’s the message Piston Cloud’s Joshua McKenty delivered in his keynote address at the OSCON OpenStack Day.

In an interview at OSCON, McKenty said the VCR was used as a metaphor for the Internet. Back, stop and forward. Pretty simple to undersand that concept for the browser.

The metaphors need to be constructed, McKenty said. They are not created through osmosis. It means combining the understanding of the academic and technical worlds with the business world. It has to be deliberate.

So what is the metaphor we use for cloud? What is the metaphor for data? What do you think?

(Feature image via TwinStrata: 8 Sure Signs of “Cloud Washing”)