Column by Andreas Von Gunten

The cloud computing rift

Many believe that there is only a small difference between cloud computing and classic IT. However, that is a fatal misjudgement. There is, in fact, a cloud computing rift, and it is becoming ever wider.

Andreas Von Gunten

For 15 years, I have been an avid user of the cloud, and I am constantly amazed by how behind we still are when it comes to cloud computing. Admittedly the praiseworthy exceptions exist – both among users and providers. But they remain a small minority.


There is actually a cloud rift between them and the great majority – on one side, we find those who can work together in teams on the same documents and data, using any terminal device and across company boundaries. On the other side are those who first have to apply to IT Security for a VPN access for an external partner in order to provide a login to a company-operated collaboration environment, which nobody actually uses because it is completely inadequate. While the first group decides on a process change at a meeting and implements this in the cloud infrastructure within days, if not hours, the second group has to have an IT project approved for this, which takes at least three to six months and costs a five-digit amount.

«However, there is something even worse than the cloud deniers – cloud washers.»

Deniers and washers in the IT cellar

Surprisingly, many of those who object to the cloud can be found in the IT departments at companies. Where curiosity and dynamism were once a part of everyday life, a licensing and certificate administrator mentality has now become widespread.


However, there is something even worse than the cloud deniers – cloud washers, masses of whom can now be found at the specialist trade fairs and IT events. These are IT managers, consultants and sellers who want to make clear to you that you also need to turn to “cloud computing” now. However, they are referring to what is known as the private cloud,

and actually want nothing more than for everything to remain as it was. But believe me, if your “cloud” can be found in your own cellar, then you do not have a flexible cloud but a highly complex IT infrastructure that inhibits your innovation power and decreases your competitiveness compared to actual cloud users.


Which side of the rift are you on?


More from Von Gunten

Read more from Andreas Von Gunten on his website (in German):

Andreas Von Gunten

Andreas Von Gunten (1968) is the founder and manager of buch & netz, a book and online publisher for the networked world. Previously, he founded Parx as a consulting company and spent many years as a cloud computing evangelist, among other things.

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