Clouds ARE useful, but they need to be approached correctly.
I believe that there is a VERY compelling case for organisations to be looking to trial their own private clouds or move services into public clouds if there are cost advantages. Sure, you need to have a coherent security and deployment strategy when moving to a cloud, but you are supposed to be developing that as part of your ITIL efforts anyway! The organisation that has the right IT processes and architecture can reap the benefits of the efficiency of balancing their applications across their hardware infrastrastrure and making the most efficient use of resource, or if they opt for a public cloud, they can enjoy the benefit of only paying for what they use. These are real benefits and that is why they are being considered by managers and people driving the IT strategies.
A move into the clouds is not straight forward and I think that there are a number of things you need to get right before you can consider it. You need to take a long hard look at security and your deployment processes. If you don't have automated repeatable builds from bare metal to your service being available, i.e. live, then you probably need to look at improving these areas first. I'd recommend you take a look at the book "Visible Ops: Private Clouds" ISBN 097556863-9 which outlines what you need to do to get cloud ready. A example of how you can simply provision cloud servers and applications with little or no administrator interaction can be found here http://www.practicalclouds.com.