Private Trumps Public Clouds for IT

Research firm tries to separate the hype from reality when it comes to cloud computing in the enterprise.
Posted December 4, 2009

David Needle

Public cloud services aren't the best bet for enterprises looking to replace or supplement their data centers, according to research firm Gartner. Through 2012, Gartner forecasts IT organizations will spend more money on private cloud computing investments than on offerings from public cloud providers.

Startups and other organizations have jumped on fast-growing public cloud offerings from Amazon and others.

There is also great interest on the enterprise side for cloud services from the likes of (NYSE: CRM), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and others. Gartner defines public cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and "elastic" IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies. By contrast, it defines private cloud computing as a system in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to internal customers using Internet technologies.

"The hype of cloud computing is that existing IT architectures and processes can be simply replaced by the cloud," Tom Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "The reality of the future IT organization, however, is somewhat a combination. Larger enterprises will continue to have an IT organization that manages and deploys IT resources internally, some of which will be 'private clouds.'"

Gartner said private cloud services are set to be a stepping stone to future public cloud services as they mature and more services become available that make a hybrid approach (public and private cloud resources) appealing to the enterprise.

Still, Gartner expects large organizations to require only private cloud services for many years, "perhaps decades."

"Each cloud service will have a different roadmap for the future -- some should be focused on tighter integration, intimacy customization and differentiation for the business," Bittman said. "Others should be focused on independence, easy interfaces, standardization and eliminated customization and are therefore potential cloud service candidates."

Gartner believes smaller businesses are unlikely to have the skills needed to orchestrate cloud services efficiently and instead will use service brokers that will take responsibility for the overall service-level requirements in the business. They will likely be skilled in specific industries and will be able to monetize their value by having deeper skill in the cloud market than small businesses can muster.

These brokers are also likely to be well-positioned to find the best deals, Gartner said, in what is a rapidly changing market spanning a wide range of offerings.

Article courtesy of

Tags: cloud computing, Amazon, private cloud, Enterprise,

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