It took a while didn't it? The big guys hung back for years, ceding the cloud to Amazon, Google, Salesforce, and other players, but today you can't find an enterprise company worth its salt that doesn't have cloud at the center of its strategy.
Whether it's Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, HP, SAP, or any traditional enterprise play, it's all cloud all the time now. After ignoring it for years, the cloud has become these company's main focus. Why is that?
They recognize that the way companies operate their IT infrastructure is changing. While companies might be not rip and replace everything in one fell swoop, as things need replacing many are looking to the cloud.
Responding to the shift to the cloud
As this happens, it's undercutting the core hardware and software businesses of these companies in a big way, and they recognize that status quo is not sustainable over the long term. Whether it's Microsoft seeing the writing on the wall about the diminishing role (notice I didn't say death) of the PC or HP seeing server demand waning as companies rely less on their own data centers, they both see a shift, and after ignoring it for years, they have begun to respond.
For some, it's a defensive move meant as a hedge against the future. For others, it's a wholesale policy shift. But whatever it is, these companies have suddenly placed a big bet on the cloud, and as they make it, it validates the cloud as a concept. If the big boys are doing it, it must be OK. Customers that have held back suddenly feel a little more comfortable working with a known quantity. Whether that makes sense or not, it's probably human nature.
Customers find value in cloud services
Meanwhile, there also has been a change in the customer mindset as IT and c-suite execs are warming to the idea of moving workloads to the cloud. It's hard to know which came first, the chicken or the egg, but both sides of the sales equation have begun to recognize the value of the cloud.
Of course, that's something the born-in-the-cloud vendors recognized long ago, and they took the brave early adopters along with them for the ride. But this isn't some vague new notion anymore. You don't have to take the word of marketing when there are plenty of use cases out there.
Just ask a colleague in another firm who is using cloud services or maybe uses only cloud services. Or just ask your end users. Surely they discovered the cloud long ago and are using these services because they're cheap and abundantly available and don't require IT intervention to set them up and make them work.
Perhaps it's a combination of all these things, but the cloud has clearly reached a comfortable level of maturity.The vendors are noticing. Customers are noticing. Users are noticing. You can't get much more buy-in than that.
Photo Credit: Christian Haugan on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 license.