These days when people describe cloud computing you’ll often hear them dividing it into three basic groups:
- Application Clouds (aka Software as a Service or SaaS)
- Platform Clouds (aka Platform as a Service or PaaS)
- Infrastructure Clouds (aka Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS)
Besides self-interest (a cloud-based app helps me pay my bills), I find the first group above the most interesting as well as the most tangible for the average bear.
So what does the board think?
A couple of weeks ago the Data Center Advisory board over at Searchdatacenter.com was asked to weigh in with their thoughts on cloud computing. RedMonk analyst Michael Cote offered up his SaaSy perspective as follows:
IT managers should be looking at converting their on-premise infrastructure to what we recently called “Software-as-a-Service” and now the bucket of “cloud computing.” If your email isn’t in the cloud already, there should be a fantastically good reason, like regulations that prevent off-premises email.
Can you host your instant messaging in the cloud? How about file sharing and basic intranet functions? Even things like SharePoint look attractive. Essentially, you want to inventory all of the low-priority items you have on your intranet and ask if it’s cheaper to move them off-premise.
Although I would have chosen a less pejorative term than “low-priority items,” I think Cote’s advice is spot on. He then goes on, while warning against irrational cloud exuberance, to clearly list the key advantages of move apps to the cloud:
Top of the list tends to be cost (both up-front and ongoing, especially when it comes to upgrading and maintenance) but also flexibility and new functionality that come with cloud-based applications.
How cloudy is your IT set-up?
Pau for now…