Avoiding "cloud anguish"

A very Happy New Year to you all. From what we saw in the “predictions” newsletters just before Christmas, those in the cloud computing arena should have the happiest time in 2011.  But I do have a word or two of caution.

It was just a year ago, when I offered up predictions from various thought leaders in the IdM and IAM industry, that many were predicting 2010 would be the “Year of the Cloud.” I should have said it then, and I will say it now: the “year of” any technology isn’t recognized until long after it has passed. 2010 may well be labeled as the Year of the Cloud, but that won’t be for some time to come and I’m beginning to doubt that it will. Likewise 2011 won’t be the Year of the Cloud.

The weirdest, wackiest and stupidest sci/tech stories of 2010

We’re already seeing a lot of “cloud anguish” from noted opinion makers. Many are suggesting that organizations who are dragging their feet about getting into cloud computing should consider so-called “private clouds” as a first step. Generally, security is one of the leading reasons for this suggestion. But this turns on its head all the reasons suggested for moving your enterprise apps to the cloud – the lack of manpower and expertise in house, the ease of maintenance, the 24/7 uptime.

So there’ll be lots and lots of talk about the cloud, both public and private – even outsourced private clouds – for the rest of this year. And the discussion will become more general, encompassing more people, if Microsoft continues their really confusing “To the cloud!” series of TV ad. None of this will make our job of explaining identity and the cloud any easier. Year of the cloud? I don’t think so. Year of cloud confusion sounds more like it.

If you’re putting together your travel calendar for the New Year, four events you should include are:

• April 17-20 The Experts Conference, Las Vegas. It’s the 10th anniversary TEC, bigger and better than ever. A “must do” for Active Directory and other Microsoft identity professionals.

• May 3-5 Internet Identity Conference, Mountain View, California. The place for those interested in user-centric identity, social networking identity and digital privacy issues.

• May 10-13 The European Identity Conference in Munich. This is fast becoming not only Europe’s premier IdM conference, but one of the world’s best. It’s also a “two-fer” as it coincides with CLOUD 2011.

• July 18-21 The Cloud Identity Summit, in Keystone, Colorado. We can all get together and decide if this “cloud thing” will ever go anywhere.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT