> > Cloudwashing


Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2010 | 1 Comment

My word of the day yesterday was "Cloudwashing".

Cloudwashing is "simply last year’s technology in new clothing". Take something old or existing and just label it Cloud! How often are you seeing that. Some aged managed service now turned into a Cloud Service.

Its hard to verify but it looks like the phrase started with James Staten from Forester Research.

In the TechWorld article Maxwell Cooter wrote
Forrester analyst James Staten said that vendors' statements about cloud had contributed to the confusion with companies using the term indiscriminately. " We call it ‘cloudwashing'" he said. Staten said that Forrester had tried to distinguish between genuine cloud services and those pres-existing services that had been ‘cloudwashed'. "A true cloud service has two features: does it include an element of self-service provisioning and does it include ‘pay-per-use'. Many vendors claim to offer cloud services but their offerings only contain one of these elements," he said.

The paradox for Staten that such attempts by vendors to rebadged their services is not playing well with their target market - the large enterprises. "Enterprise customers are not attracted by this re-labelling To my mind it's like a well-known folk singer striking out in a new direction and doing hip-hop - no matter how well he does it, it's not what he was known for and it's not going to appeal to his target audience."

There companies who have grasped the nature of cloud computing said Staten and are offering genuine cloud services. He said Amazon was one as was Savvis, a company that quickly realised that companies wanted a cloud just for them and have gone after the high-end hosting market.

But Staten pointed out that cloud computing could have fundamental changes in the way that companies do business. "What cloud computing has created, said Staten, is a new opportunity for enterprises to work in a different way. "It's way too easy for business unit developers to by-pass their own IT departments and go straight to Amazon. And as long as the IT department is more expensive and less responsive that's what they'll do".
Now we all have a new game to play. When you hear someone washing their existing service and selling it as Cloud, call it out, yell "Cloudwashing!" and for emphasis extent your arm and point whilst you do it.

Of course the current game is Cloud Bingo. You yell Bingo in a meeting or presentation the first time someone mentions Cloud.



  1. Remind me not to have a meeting about cloud with you anytime soon. Too many Bingos make my head hurt. :)


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