Cloud Uptake Lower Than Expected, Research Firm Says

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Gartner's latest Hype Cycle, which assesses more than 1,900 technologies' maturity in the market, has branded cloud computing as being on the path to disillusionment.

Released annually, the analyst group's Hype Cycle aims to provide industry watchers and players with a clear assessment on how technology is being used, but also what to expect from upcoming technology trends.

The report reads: "Cloud computing is still a visible and hyped term, but, at this point, it has clearly passed the Peak of Inflated Expectations [a point on the curve]. There are signs of fatigue and signs of disillusionment (e.g. highly visible failures)."

Computerworld UK spoke to Hung LeHong, research VP at Gartner, who said that cloud is not seeing the uptake that the industry expected.

"I think cloud computing is moving slower than what everyone thought it would. Everybody has been talking about cloud for so long, but it's not moving very quickly along the curve and is heading towards disillusionment," he said.

Gartner's report also identified a number of 'tipping point' technologies this year, which are considered to be on the verge of maturing, but are not quite yet delivering the benefits to enterprises and consumers.

HTML5, machine-to-machine and in-memory databases are amongst the technologies on the list, but LeHong identifies payments and big data as the two that are particularly interesting.

"We put quite a big focus on payments first of all, which includes Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. These are just coming off the peak of the Hype Curve," said LeHong.

NFC allows consumers to pay for goods by tapping their cards on payment terminals in store, but there has been difficulty in establishing widespread adoption due to the differing interests of so many stakeholders.

""This is one of the tipping point technologies that I would pay close attention to - it has the potential to impact customers quite broadly. There is a lot of noise about it at the moment, but it is heading towards a period of disillusionment," he said.

"The promise of it is huge, but so is the challenge, hence why it opens itself up to negative hype. But we believe that this is just one of the stages technology goes through, industry, consumers and the world will soon understand what is possible from NFC."

LeHong also touts the benefits of big data, but more specifically, complex event processing.

"Another thing that's quite interesting is the whole big data and analytics side. It is quite hyped up right now, but the promise is there. Companies are able to process information that they were not able to do before - unstructured information - but it's also about the speed at which they can do this," he said.

"For example, take pricing. In the past if you wanted to maximise your margins as a retailer, or maximise your unit sales, you would run an optimisation and only really get to do it once, because of the time it took. Now you can run two or three scenarios in the same amount of time and can understand a number of different customers. It's a subtle change but it really improves decision making."

He added: "A complementary part of big data is complex event processing, which is not the speed of crunching algorithms, but the speed of taking in real-time data to the magnitude of thousands of events per second. So think about a stock market, for a bank to be able to understand its trading position in real time, is a really interesting proposition."

Some new technologies that have been included on Gartner's Hype Curve this year include 3D scanners, silicon anode batteries, crowdsourcing and consumer telematics.

This story, "Cloud Uptake Lower Than Expected, Research Firm Says" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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