The origin of the expression cloud computing is unclear; however, it seems to derive from the practice of telecom companies drawing of cloud looking bubbles to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems. For many businesses, the term cloud computing can be vague and confusing to the point of creating a barrier and preventing them from adopting the services.
Research by Lero, a global leader in software engineering research, revealed that a significant barrier to cloud adoption is people’s perception of the word ‘cloud’ to the extent it ‘scares some people’. The research, conducted at the National University of Ireland, found that while people are comfortable ‘banking online, passing around hard drives and USB keys or running the risk of leaving laptops on trains, once the word “cloud” is mentioned, it evokes a negative reaction’. They reported that as a result, some providers, when dealing with customers, purposely tend not to talk about ‘cloud’ but refer to a new service delivery model.
One of the problems is that the term cloud computing is universally used to cover a multitude of services that probably shouldn’t be lumped together under one heading. It begs the question whether the industry chose the right term to depict the service categorised as ‘cloud computing’. Firstly, the term is too broad and includes services such as remote storage (dropbox), hosted email accounts (gmail), platforms offered to IT professionals (Rackspace) and the industry has also adopted an entire range of acronyms including, IaaS, PaaS, MbaaS which add to the confusion.This is as misleading as grouping together Lewis Hamilton, Ford Motors Inc. and the local mechanic down the road, as providers in the ‘Automobile Industry’. Cloud is an almost meaningless terms without understanding the details.
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