Gartner says cloud is over hyped

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Cloud computing could be over hyped today, but more than half of large enterprises will rely on public clouds by 2015.

According to Gartner, the industry analysts, cloud computing is currently still at the "peak of inflated expectations", with users' belief in the technology outstripping its ability to deliver. But within the next five years, half of the world's 1000 largest enterprises will be using external cloud services for their "top 10 revenue generating processes," Gartner said in its predictions for cloud for 2011, Gartner Predicts 2011: Cloud Computing.

Cloud service providers will start to address some of the greatest barriers to the technology's take up in business, believes David Clearley, one of the report's authors. Better sharing models which provide physical isolation between separate clients of public cloud services, and security improvements, including certification, will give large companies more confidence in the cloud.

The analyst firm also expects the gap between public cloud services and enterprise computing vendors to narrow over the next few years. Currently cloud computing is dominated by companies such as or hosting businesses such as Rackspace, which offer cloud services alongside their main business. But Gartner believes that the large enterprise IT vendors, including Microsoft, IBM and HP, as well as enterprise software vendors, will increasingly turn to the cloud. Researchers believe that by 2015, however, just two companies will be able to claim leadership in both enterprise computing and the cloud.

Gartner also predicts that businesses will rely more and more on cloud service brokerages (CSBs) to co-ordinate their cloud suppliers, and that IT personnel with cloud skills will be in demand by 2014. This is despite what the analyst firm sees as continued skepticism among IT departments about the value of the cloud.

And growing demand for cloud services over the next five years should be set against inflated expectations today, Gartner warned. The market remains confusing, and "misconceptions abound, especially as they relate to cost cutting," the report said. Mainstream enterprise application vendors, in particular, need further work on multi-tenancy support and support for operation across multiple data centres, before their software is ready for the cloud.