'Analysis paralysis' slowing down cloud adoption

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Do you have analysis paralysis? How about technical indigestion?

During yesterday’s Reuters cloud panel discussion, executives talked about confusion and information overload in the cloud market that might be causing a bit of a growth stall, as businesses try to figure out their next moves. I agree, if only based on a couple emails I've gotten lately from IT admins struggling to suss out which vendor to go with given the rapid pace of change in the market.

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It was John Engates, Rackspace’s CTO, who dubbed it “analysis paralysis.” Businesses are struggling to build their cloud strategies, including which vendor to choose and how to get started. “Things are in such a state of change right now I don’t think they can feel confident they’ve made the right decision at any point,” he said. “Every day there’s so much change coming at them. It’s happening at a lot of large enterprises, they don’t know who to partner with.”

That aptly characterizes the sense I got from an email exchange I had with an advisor who works for the federal government and is trying to choose a platform-as-a-service provider. He said he was expecting to find more and stronger competition and sounded a bit concerned about going with relatively unknown startups. He wasn’t finding much help from the analyst firms either, in terms of up-to-date reports offering guidance.

Adrian Cockcroft, who runs all things cloud for Netflix, called it “technical indigestion.” His group is releasing an open source project a week – including new monitoring tools that came out this week. “We’re driving a lot of innovation but we’re giving people indigestion. There’s only so many blog posts you can read in a day,” he said.

Adding to the confusion is “legacy vendor inertia,” said Terry Wise, head of global partner ecosystem for Amazon Web Services “There are the old guard vendors with high-margin business models they’re anxious to protect,” he said. They are adopting various strategies to try to slow down the adoption of cloud computing, he said.

What do you think? Are things moving so fast that it's hard to make a decision when it comes to adopting cloud services?

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring and on Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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