Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Adventures in Cloudwashing: Are You the Cloud Or in the Cloud?

Depending upon your role in information technology cloudwashing is either a major concern or a significant benefit

Anyone who is working intimately with cloud computing and having critical conversations regarding this medium will eventually be party to the “cloudwashing” conversation.

Cloudwashing: the activity of associating all your products with cloud computing even though it doesn’t meet core attributes that define cloud computing as created either by de jure or de facto processes.

Depending upon your role in information technology cloudwashing is either a major concern or a significant benefit. If you are a product vendor looking to gain attention for your product, then cloudwashing is very useful. It opens up interest in your product to an entirely new audience that may see benefit in your offering even if it really doesn’t align fully with cloud computing goals and values. If it attracts eyeballs without significant additional costs, then it’s positive.

If you are an IT manager, director, vice president, CIO or other, and your goal is to say that you’ve successfully delivered a cloud computing initiative, then cloudwashing is good. After all even if it’s traditional managed services, if you can label it cloud, the pure confusion and lack of agreement on what is cloud will work in your favor. That is, who can argue with you that your initiative isn’t cloud computing if they cannot define cloud computing in a concrete and definitive manner.

If you are a security officer concerned with privacy and security of your businesses’ data and access, then cloudwashing may work in your favor as well. Most cloudwashing is typically managed services repackaged, which means it doesn’t really incorporate key attributes of cloud computing that concern security professionals, such as multitenancy and shared hardware platforms. So, the security professional who cares less what the business wants to say they’ve accomplished as long as they’ve done their job securing information and access may be better served by a cloudwashed product or service than a real cloud computing product or service.

So, why should we care if a business wants to cloudwash their offering? For one, its disingenuous, and anyone that’s willing to sell you something in a disingenuous manner should trigger you to question that company’s values and ethics. Ultimately, it could mean the difference of them being their when you need them and you out on the street with your briefcase in hand looking for your next job.

Secondly, it damages the entire industry. While you can technically argue that there’s no one single globally-accepted definition of cloud computing, NIST and Cloud Security Alliance are two very credible organizations that have settled on a common definition. There may be others also promoting this definition as well. So, to imply that there’s no standard undermines the work of these organizations in attempting to help businesses and individuals understand cloud computing. Moreover, without a common agreement, there is no means to develop agreed upon metrics for comparing offerings from different vendors.

Finally, there should be delineation for vendors that are in the cloud and those that are the cloud. This differentiation is unclear when vendors cloudwash their offerings. Being ‘in the cloud’ means that you are selling a service that relies upon yet another provider’s cloud computing service. This is important for businesses to know that are signing up for a service. In the same way that you would want to know that FedEx or UPS uses a third party delivery agent in a foreign country and that they are not handling your package from start to finish, you should want to know who ultimately is touching your data and applications. Cloudwashing makes it difficult to distinguish those who are “in the cloud” from those that “are the cloud”.

Of note, I know there are those that will argue that you’re buying a service and you shouldn’t care, but that’s a naïve opinion that demonstrates a lack of understanding for the business requirements for audit and compliance. Maybe some startup in Bumpuck, Nowheresville that’s hosting a free service can get away with this approach, but real businesses that hire professional accounting and auditing services are responsible for understanding the implications for using that service; this often means knowing what software and services is being used to provide a service.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

Latest Stories
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...