Has trumpeting of cloud created a reputation crisis for tech sector?

28 Feb 2013

IT and business decision makers have expressed their contempt for ‘cloud washing’ – the over-selling and over-promoting of cloud services as well as poor service delivery – leading to a potential reputation crisis for the tech sector overall.

The survey by UK managed data service provider Six Degrees Group found that almost half of IT and business decision makers felt that ‘cloud washing’ by marketing departments at technology brands is an increasing problem.

Vanson Bourne conducted the survey on behalf of Six Degrees Group. It comprised 100 respondents made up of a 50/50 split between IT decision makers and business decision makers, and all from commercial organisations with more than 1,000 employees in the UK.

Eighty-three per cent felt that cloud service providers should be doing more to demystify the cloud.

The majority (82pc) complain that their cloud computing provider is not listening to them.

And more than half of business decision makers believe tech companies are using too much jargon, more than the percentages for politicians, bankers and lawyers combined.

To give you a picture of the extent of the confusion, 22pc of business decision makers think that Platform as a Service (PaaS) relates to some new philosophy in railway management and 16pc think Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a new road project.

Fifteen per cent think that cloud computing is a free Wi-Fi service for internet access in public places.

Losing credibility

Campbell Williams, group strategy and director at Six Degrees Group, said: “The lack of service flexibility and confusing jargon is clearly having an impact on the reputation of the technology industry. 

“Businesses are being told that everything is fine and promises are being made that issues can be solved. However, the problem now is that businesses no longer believe what they are hearing and the industry is losing credibility.

“Cloud computing has the potential to be one of biggest technology revolutions in the business world since the internet. Everyone’s talking about it and it is such a shame that businesses have to work so hard to figure it out. 

“To some extent, every single business surveyed believed that they were a victim of cloud-washing. It is a big issue and needs to be tackled,” Williams said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years