This section of the Cloud Forum is intended to enable open, unstructured discussion on the topic of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
A decade ago many of us got involved in the “next big thing” which was the emergence of ASPs. The objectives we had for growing that business all apply to the emergence of the Cloud.
We were seeking the easiest model for consumers, an access model intuitive for any age group; any experience level and that would be profitable over time. The early ASP model, now called SaaS, was an operational service in 2001. Once the similar storage service was added to the mix, it became viable for small businesses.
In just a few short years we went from desk sized work stations to hand held devices that serve as a phone, television, movie theater and laptop. The power of web based services has revolutionized the business model across all industries and turned the service industry on end. Cloud consumers today are all smarter than the service providers of yesterday. Our offerings must keep pace with the challenging demands for innovation, forward thinking toward the next big thing.
Here Comes Another Cloud Offering… Now What Do You Do?
A day doesn’t go by without mention or even headlines about “The Cloud” in the information technology industry periodicals. Why should we expect anything otherwise? Gartner forecasts the worldwide market will achieve over $148 billion in revenues by 2014, more than doubling from 2010.
Now Microsoft is adding to their cloud base offerings with their recent announcement of Office 365. Another Software as a Service (SaaS) entry, apparently in an attempt to keep pace with Google Apps. Most everyone is already familiar with Microsoft’s Exchange Online cloud offering. This newest offering not only represents a new service but also yet another entry in an attempt to persuade the way we conduct business. Specifically, this supports the increasing popularity of cloud based office software needs.
But how do we sort out yet another seemingly daily me-too entry. Certainly Microsoft is a well known and trust brand, should be safe right?
Has “stealth cloud” been causing the problems that were predicted?
Last year there were a flurry of articles about “stealth cloud” computing. That is, cloud offerings being put in place by users without the support (and often also with IT’s knowledge).
This, in and of itself, is not necessarily a problem but that depends quite a lot on exactly what the users of those systems are doing.
While it certainly makes sense for IT (and especially IT Security) to be aware of the cloud solutions being deployed by users, has it become the apocalypse it was predicted to be?
What are the right levels of control required from IT to keep things from getting out of control and should users have the ability to deploy solutions that meet their needs when IT can’t?
Should users have to sign a waiver so they can’t come back and try to get IT to support solutions deployed without their involvement?
What do you think?
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