2 CIOs on the false flexibility of the cloud

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On a report published on PC World, two CIOs discussed how the cloud causes a similar kind of lock-in experienced with traditional on-premise vendors, such as Oracle and SAP. Ralph Loura, CIO of Clorox and Ben Haines, outgoing CIO of Pabst Brewing, both spoke on the topic this week at the GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco.

"You're kind of locked in--it's out with the old boss and in with the new," said Loura. According to Loura, most big companies sign multi-year contracts with cloud suppliers that effectively tie them to that platform. Loura alleges that these cloud providers then proceed to train employees to build applications and interfaces in a way that further ties them down, creating a flexibility that is false.

Haines spoke of his experiences with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) at Pabst. "On the Google side, my impression from an enterprise standpoint is that they're talking the talk, but they're not backing it up yet," he said. "In the enterprise, you need someone to call." The result is that while Pabst uses services from Google, it does so through a Google partner due to the difficulty of communicating with the company directly.

It is clear that while the cloud definitely has its benefits, both self-interest and the breakneck pace of development on that front are likely to result in the development APIs and proprietary features that are likely to lock in users. And the larger size of enterprises means that cloud vendors are far more likely to mandate longer-term contracts before they commit to serving them.

For more:
- check out this article at PC World

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