Online services are clouded in confusion which breeds distrust in the mind of prospective customers
The smokescreen of jargon created by cloud computing sellers has created a suffocating atmosphere of suspicion that is killing sales. That is the claim by managed data service provider Six Degrees Group, which has launched a web site to try and demystify the concept.
Prior to launch of the site, Six Degrees commissioned a study into perceptions of the cloud. Researchers asked their subjects to look at a cloud and describe what they saw. The results of the study reflect the psychological damage that has been visited upon end users by nightmarish sales pitches.
Almost half (45%) told the researchers that “cloud-washing” by marketing departments at technology brands is an increasing problem. The other 55 percent, presumably, were too traumatised to talk and wordlessly rocked back and forth while fixating on some image in the distance. One in five (22%) said the cloud turned out to be the exact opposite of what was promised, complaining that cloud services were too rigid and inflexible.
Four out of five (83%) begged cloud service providers to demystify the cloud and similar number of IT decision makers complained that their cloud-computing provider was not listening to them.
The industry is losing credibility said Campbell Williams, group strategy and director at Six Degrees. “Confusing jargon is having an impact on the reputation of the technology industry and businesses no longer believe what they’re hearing,” he said.
Cloud computing has the potential to be the biggest technology revolution in business since the internet, he said. The problem is that although everyone’s talking about it, nobody seems to know what they are saying. “It’s such a shame that businesses have to work so hard to figure it out. To some extent, every single business surveyed believed that they were a victim of cloud-washing. It is a big issue and needs to be tackled,” said Williams.
It’s not just office managers and IT decisions makers who are confused. Further up the hierarchy, senior management and board level executives feel baffled by the amount of new phrases and jargon. Over half (51%) said that technology salespeople were more full of “bull sheets” than politicians, bankers and law firms combined.
On a lighter note, some were so confused they thought that infrastructure as a service (IaaS) was a reference to new road projects while one fifth (22%) thought the phrase platform as a service (PaaS) was a reference to railway management.