December 7, 2011 | Posted in Cloud, Managed File Transfer, MFT | By

Having participated in several Gartner conferences over the years, as a Gartner Analyst covering Managed File Transfer (MFT), I am very familiar with Gartner research and trends. While working for Gartner I have seen the Cloud evolve from a curious little topic, covered by a handful of analysts, to a fully-recognizable and viable global resolution included by all analysts in their research agenda. However, in the years from inception, one trend has always remained: skeptics among the audience, regardless of what analysts and the industry are saying.

Having jumped to the dark side (the “official” jargon used for anyone from Gartner moving to the vendor side), I found myself in a situation where I knew “everyone” attending the event, but at the same time being someone on the outside looking in.  This provided me with a unique opportunity to connect with clients in a different way and get closer to what was happening on the grass-root level.

In previous years, the analysts have been telling clients to consider and possible embrace the Cloud, because it makes sense from a scalability and cost perspective.  The key difference I noticed this year, was the amount of clients requesting the Cloud for various projects including:  CRM, Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB), ERP, traditional B2B integration, SOA and more.  Attending a few case studies and tracks where both analysts and clients talked about some of the benefits of the Cloud, some interesting points arose:

  • By using the Cloud an organization can focus on business processes and less on IT
  • We wanted a dial tone (something that always works), so we turned to the Cloud
  • Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) is emerging as a viable solution for clients to connect–not only for B2B and different Cloud providers but also for A2A
  • CSB is seen as a viable alternative to Mega Vendors–both ultimately provide one integrated solution
  • Managed File Transfer (MFT) is increasingly used in Cloud-to-Cloud and on-premises to Cloud Integration scenarios.
  • Ad-Hoc MFT was hugely popular

Yes, just as in year’s past, there were some skeptics at last week’s Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, but it was amazing that the majority of attendees were finally embracing the Cloud.