I don't know if anyone remebers the Simpsons episode Marge vs. the Monorail, but it could likely be overdubbed with the cloud, and we would have a humorous look at the noise that cloud has created.
I go back to my post from January 29th 2010 about my acronym for the Cloud:
Folks, I hate to pee in people's Wheaties, but we've been here before many times. Mainframes did the same thing. They were big honking machines that got divided up and rented out by the hour/job/unit to users. Supercomputers - same deal more power.
'Outsourcing' took anything not a core competency and allowed companies to lease back stuff, whether it was people, process, or other 'stuff'.
Managed services/leasing - pay for a computer and software (or several in a system) over time. Some were shared some were private.
Cloud - chop the system(s) up into components that can be paid for in a per unit fashion and users can lease the collective system or any component of it without a contract.
Tie it all together and it means companies no longer have to plan for capex, they can have an 'oh shit' go online, get a petabyte, couple hundred processors, and take the thought around problem solving out of the equation.
The downside is that IT is once again in a reactive vs. proactive mode of operation. They are willingly giving up any strategic value in the organization. The organizations are chasing the Cloud buzzwords like a junkie chasing a fix. Stop. Just stop.
With control comes responsibility, something that we seem so willing and driven to shirk to someone else vs. sitting down and calmly figuring out that:
A private cloud is nothing more than another way to pay for your systems.
A public cloud is nothing more than a pay as you go contract with a service provider
There are costs and benefits to each that should be explored thoroughly before deciding what to do.
And if you have an 'Oh Shit', what an opportunity for IT to step up and do something right. No buzzwords, no bullshit.
So as we see the vendor press releases about 'Cloud Strategy' lets remember that they are telling us what we already know - there are many ways to pay for your stuff, we need to figure out which solution is best for us as we have for the last 25 years thank you. Then we'll let you know how we want to pay for it. Kind of like our mobile phones...