SNW Europe 2010: 'Cloud is Camelot' for businesses

Cloud computing

The difficult economic situation of the past few years has encouraged companies to look for a way out through technology. Many think cloud computing is the answer.

This was the view of Richard Villars, vice president of storage and IT strategies at IDC. However, during a speech at SNW Europe 2010, he warned many companies weren't prepared enough to get their desires fulfilled by the new model.

"Whenever there are bad economic times, there will emerge something that becomes the hope [for companies] of how to make it better," said Villars.

"This utopia... this Camelot, this time cloud has become Camelot."

He said that executives were putting their "hopes and dreams" into the technology to make their IT run better but it "reflects more the hopes and dreams than the reality of the cloud."

Villars claimed businesses needed to boost efficiency, boost responsiveness of the business through analytics and business intelligence and watch out for capital and operational expenditure first.

Then they could get on the road to virtualisation and make the journey to the cloud.

Many businesses are already on the virtualisation path and Villars reiterated research by IDC which showed, for the first time, there were more new server applications running on virtual machines than physical ones.

Yet storage was still lagging behind, and he claimed it was the one aspect of IT stopping people from "making the next step" into fully virtualised environments.

"Businesses must network their storage," he said, "and then they must virtualise those networks."

"When they change from a deployment model and manage the data centre as a single automated tool, then they will have a converged infrastructure and [be ready]."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.