Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Cloud Poser / Expert

Great post by Daryl Plummer at Gartner titled "Instant Experts Floating in the Cloud". In his post he outlines some of the issues in the advocacy of cloud computing and the rise of the so called "Cloud Expert". He describes this person as "The instant expert is one of those people who seemed to know nothing about a topic two days ago but now sounds like they invented it. It’s the woman who studied all night to learn the difference between the cloud, cloud computing, and cloud services because Daryl Plummer or Reuven Cohen was so eloquent about it. Get the picture? Instant Experts are all around us; and, oddly enough, we need them now more than ever."

He's dead on, and I'm the first to admit I do fall into that category from time to time. I'm the cloud interoperability expert not so much because I have any real experience in cloud standards or because I've participated in any other interoperability groups. It's simply because I have a vested interest in the subject as well as the network of associates to make such a endeavour feasible. Basically I'm learning as I go. As for Elastic Computing aka cloud computing. I'm the expert because 5 years ago I was the nut trying to get people to use shared virtual resources. Simply, I've put in my time.

In a recent Business Week article "Cloud Computing Is No Pipe Dream" Jeffrey Rayport said it well.

"Tech pundits and practitioners alike have spilled lots of ink to hype cloud computing. They'll encourage you to think of it as IT infrastructure on demand—like plugging into the power grid to get electricity, or turning on a faucet to get water, but getting raw computing power instead. To boot, you'll get access to storage capacity and software-based services—and it can scale infinitely, proponents point out.

If this all sounds too good to be true—like so much cold fusion, the now-debunked tabletop nuclear fusion reactor in a bottle—don't be fooled. This time, getting more for less is real. And with the economy of its currently parlous condition, businesses have never needed cloud computing more."

What struck me about what Rayport said was that it difficult to tell the Poser's from the legitament "experts". Moreover, I'm not every sure why we should consider Rayport an export on the subject. With all the FUD, who do you trust? Random bloggers, providers, vendors?

Daryle Plummer has done a great job of outlining how to spot the pretenders from the contenders.

  • Pretenders want you to know how much they know. Contenders want you to know what you need to know.
  • Pretenders want you to believe they truly understand concepts. Contenders want you to know how concepts relate to other concepts in a specific context.
  • Pretenders spout facts. Contenders deliver insights.
  • Pretenders dismiss differences in meanings and definitions of concepts as “just semantics”. Contenders specify the context of their ideas and the meanings of concepts within that context.
  • Pretenders use their knowledge to reflect glory on their past accomplishments. Contenders use their past accomplishments to inject knowledge into their new ideas.
  • Pretenders can easily be tripped up by a well placed question. Contenders pose well-placed questions.
  • Pretenders can only slice an inch deep. Contenders cut straight to the bone.

Read the whole post here.

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