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December 1, 2009

Private clouds outshine public clouds

Public services not mature enough for many, says Gartner

By Vinod

Private cloud investment will outstrip public cloud spend for at least the next three years as customers wait for the technology to mature, according to Gartner.

While public clouds open up services to external customers, private clouds are restricted to internal customers. Until 2012, most firms will begin their cloud journey with private initiatives, until public services are more established, said Gartner.

“The problem is most of those services aren’t ready yet. They don’t enable the service levels that are needed, they don’t have the security that’s needed, they don’t meet our compliance requirements. There’s something lacking there. So in the meantime, many of our clients are saying what can I do?” said Tom Bittman, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, at the Gartner Symposium/ITexpo in Orlando.

The answer, according to Gartner is for large companies to start with private cloud initiatives, often using virtualisation as the foundation of those efforts. Deploying private clouds is a useful stepping stone to later public adoption, said Bittman.

“Private cloud computing is not the destination in our view. We think this is really a near-term step. This is a stop-gap prior to services being more mature in the public cloud – which could take for some services six months for other services 10 years. We believe that private clouds are about a rapid return on investment: you build a business case, if it makes sense for me to invest in it internally I’ll do it, otherwise I might just wait for the cloud to mature,” he said.

Bittman called for CIOs to begin experimenting with cloud computing today and embark on cross-organisational cloud initiatives. Looking 12 months ahead, companies should develop an overall cloud strategy and build a sourcing organisation with the business and technology skills to make day-to-day decisions about sourcing and to manage the cloud services to fit business needs. Smaller firms will need to look outside to service brokers to fulfil this role.


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