In its annual Hype Cycle report, the analyst firm has warned that some vendors are seizing on the popularity of the term to sell services that aren’t, strictly speaking, what we’d call cloud. For instance, some providers sell computing as a service without dynamic scalability as “cloud services.”

This kind of misrepresentation, as well as general confusion about the benefits of true cloud computing, it argues, can lead to bad business decisions, particularly in firms that see “cloud” as a cure-all and automatic money saver.