An article in UC Today put forward the suggestion that the current ‘flight to cloud’ among businesses would soon reach a peak before slumping and then recovering in several years’ time. According to the cloud consultancy practice behind the piece, cloud adoption is simply following its trajectory along Gartner’s well-trodden ‘hype cycle’ path. Specifically, having witnessed the “technology trigger”, the much-anticipated “peak of inflated expectations” is unlikely to be far away, soon to be followed by the inevitable “trough of disillusionment”. Apparently, the good news is that the “slope of enlightenment”, and the “plateau of productivity” might begin as soon as 2022.
Nobody, it seems, asked Gartner if that’s what they think will happen to cloud. But it’s an interesting hypothesis all the same.
Our problem with this concept is not merely its negativity. Cloud is completely different to the thousands of other technologies that undoubtedly do fit within the hype cycle model. Here’s why:
- Unlike traditional IT solutions, cloud disillusionment is already happening in parallel to adoption and demand. It’s called living in a beta world where everything digital is software and it’s all being constantly developed and improved. It isn’t sequential, creating peaks and troughs or getting in the way of progress.
- Competition is extraordinary, both in terms of cloud providers optimising their products, user experiences and pricing, but also acting as a catalyst for adopters to use cloud to innovate and keep pace with their competition. All this points towards strong continuing cloud uptake.
- Cloud represents a paradigm shift akin to swapping horses for cars, canals for railroads and dial-up for fibre-optic Gigabit. It is a step-change; a tear-up-the-rulebook moment. It doesn’t fit the mould.
- This whole argument is two years too late. By anyone’s measure, cloud is somewhere up the slope of enlightenment and some way off plateauing any time soon. The fact that we haven’t seen demand fall off yet shouldn’t automatically signify that cloud is still early in its adoption phase.
Be positive. Everything is going to be OK. Cloud is a bright future, and it’s a future that we’re already 10 years through.
Most of all, keep relying on your trusted advisors. Just make sure they are worthy of your trust.
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