In my various conversations and presentations last year, I was starting to hear a concerning theme. I’ll get to why it is concerning in a bit. The theme was around what I called “cloud fatigue”. That is, people were starting to get tired of talking about cloud computing. The reason was that the term had been over-hyped with little substance to the true value cloud computing would bring. In addition, people were having a hard time figuring out how to setup clouds.
This hype happened over the prior couple of years. One way to track the cycle is through Gartner’s annual cloud computing Hype Cycle. Here is the updated version from 2011:
To provide some empirical data to support my theory, I took a look at the search stats around the term “cloud computing”. Last year, I penned a blog entry with details on my findings.
Today, I re-ran the reports to determine if the theory played out over 2011. Indeed it did. The subject, while discussed widely, has plateaued in search results. The global results show a marked flattening of the results.
International cities continue drive the top results with the United States falling from #7 in April 2011 to #10 in January 2012.
Within the United States, the results are similar to last year.
If interest in cloud computing was acutally decreasing, that would be a concern. Cloud computing presents a significant opportunity for most organizations both technically and organizationally. The business value it brings is not to be missed. While I don’t have empirical data to support my new theory, I suspect the change has more to do with depth of understanding. Today, many folks have heard about cloud computing and understand what it is (generally speaking). Now the conversation has moved into specific details of how to use it within a specific use case.
I would expect to see the general term of cloud computing continue to plateau and possibly decrease. This is natural and signifies a maturity of the term. In addition, new subjects will continue to fill in the cloud’s wake.