It’s official: the cloud is boring. While some of you already felt like cloud was BOA (boring on arrival), the reality is that it’s been causing all sorts of headaches within the enterprise. Until now.

As Forrester analyst James Staten suggests, new product announcements from both OpenStack and Microsoft Azure got a muted yawn this past week, which is a Very Good Thing, as he explains:

“[H]o-hum releases like these are signs of maturity that signal to enterprises that it’s now okay to invest. Let’s face it. Most enterprises are conservative. We don’t like to be first with any new, risky technology. That’s why we wait for the 2.1 release before trying something new… We’d like other companies to work all the kinks out of the system, live through all the stability issues and fix all the bugs so we can get a solid release to work with.”  

As much as people have tried to hype the cloud over the years, hype is precisely the opposite of what was needed to make cloud mainstream. As such, it’s arguably a great sign that cloud is about to surrender the hype crown to Big Data, at least as measured by Google searches (as pointed out by Timo Elliott):

It’s about time. As a Unisphere survey (PDF) of Oracle users indicates, cloud is becoming strategic within the enterprise, and much more pervasive. As the survey reveals, 37% of enterprise managers are running or piloting private clouds, which is a jump from 29% two years ago. More significantly, an additional 26%  use public cloud services for enterprise applications, a big boost from 14%. 

This jibes with a new Barclays survey of 100 CIOs, which found them piling into the cloud. Indeed, cloud, second only to Big Data, topped the list of IT spending drivers:

In sum, for years we’ve known that cloud computing would be big. But that’s not what CIOs needed to hear. They needed to know that it could also be boring. We have arrived!