The more I think about it, the more the notion of 'private clouds' (dread phrase) makes me despair.

At today's Business Cloud Summit (praised in advance here), there was much talk about private clouds as the shrewd man's halfway house between status quo (the servers are in that room at the back and we're in charge of them) and the public cloud (we don't know where the servers are and we don't care; someone else runs them). The private cloud  says that the servers are in that room at the back, we're in charge of them but you'll have to pay us to run them.

It strikes me as a very half-arsed attempt at keeping thr troops happy and keeping the bosses happy. You don't get the economies of scale of a public cloud deployment and it suggests that you don't rally trust the security either so you put together the worst of both worlds and prioivde yourslef with limited control while keeping the admin.

It's Tony Blair's "third way" or perhaps the Nick Clegg of next-generation IT. It's a Digestive biscuit when you'd rather have a Jaffa Cake. Or, as Billy Liar said, it's neither nowt nor owt.

Which brings us, in a roundaout, political way, to the government's G-cloud plan, described at the conference by Office of the Government CIO Martin Bellamy as a sort of private cloud for shared services. These are early days, of course, but the Tories' impressive Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation Adam Afriyie might well have had a point in suggesting this sounds like "a good concept but a massive, massive project and that's exactly the mistake we've made in the past."