Cloud buyers need more clarity say experts
Cloud vendors must establish one definition for cloud to protect buyers falling foul of multiple interpretations of the technology, so says a panel of technology experts brought together by hosting company UK Fast.
With more and more providers joining the cloud market and confusion still reigning over what the term actually means, baffled buyers are at risk of paying over the odds for technology that isn't technically cloud, or worse entrusting their business data to unsuitable cloud solutions.
Lawrence Jones, CEO at cloud and colocation company UKFast, says, "We see different definitions of hosting, hybrid and cloud from every provider. To us, hybrid is where the whole solution is in a data centre, and part of it is dedicated and part of it shared. People don’t ask the question about what it all means. No-one would ever ask what the technology of the cloud is, they just log on and move on. We make sure that we have the conversation with clients asking why they want to move to the cloud and work out the best option from there -- whether that's cloud or dedicated".
Simon Swan, co-founder of online recruitment marketplace HiringHub.com says, "There is a real cause for someone to put together a dictionary for the cloud. Define the key terms and then whoever deals with IT in a business can go to that place and get the information. Then they will have a grasp of it before they engage with a cloud company".
But Nick Kavanagh, operations director at Gteq, disagrees that people are confused, saying that he believes that, thanks to cloud sneaking its way into our personal lives more and more, businesses are more "cloud savvy" than they realise. "Businesses have been using it [the cloud] for a long time. Email systems like Hotmail, or programmes like Dropbox are all cloud-based. People don’t realise they are using it but they have been, and they are comfortable with it".
If you want to learn more you can see video clips from the debate on YouTube. Are you clear on what the cloud means? Do you think that businesses need more help to understand what it can do for them? Let us know via the comments.