Barb Darrow reported that “The way IBM accounts for revenue from its various cloud computing efforts is subject to a Securities & Exchange investigation, according to the company’s just-released 10-Q filing. IBM said it is cooperating with the investigation, which launched in May.”
You can’t blame IBM for positioning revenue in the cloud computing space. Cloud computing is hot, and the more stuff you have to sell that you can label as “cloud,” the more value you bring to yourself. Heck, we certainly do that as IT professionals in the job market.
We can clearly see that those who sell cloud computing technology command a higher value than those who don’t. Thus, spinning their tech revenue as “cloud” could overvalue the business in the public markets, thus why the SEC is involved. I suspect other such investigations will occur as well.
However, in defense of those investigated, just what should be considered “cloud?” This question will be something that has to be proven, and perhaps something that’s difficult to prove.
The reality is that most publically traded companies are calling anything that looks like cloud computing, “cloud.” If the SEC is going to attempt to figure out what truly is cloud computing, and what’s cloud washed, I suspect they have a larger task at hand than they know.