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Do you have a SaaS strategy? Most IT organizations don’t. In our InformationWeek Analytics survey of 131 SaaS customers, 59% say it’s a point solution, not a long-term strategy. Yet SaaS and the broader concept of cloud computing are the hottest topics in IT since the Internet itself, so it’s not surprising there’s much interest among your company’s leadership. Your CEO and CFO are reading about the trend; they hear it talked about at conferences. And your business unit leaders have been pitched by SaaS vendors, and they may have bought some. So any blanket “not for us” won’t cut it. Our survey finds that 47% of companies use some SaaS, and that number is certain to rise rapidly.We talked with CIOs about how they discuss SaaS with the most senior leaders of their companies. Based on that, we offer five guidelines.
Potential Organizations for Cloud AdoptionEssentially all types of organization will benefit by adopting Cloud computing, however, the following type will benefit the most: * R&D firms who need to remain focused on their core business / area * Fast growing businesses with major fluctuation of capacity * Start-up firms that need to cut out on capital expenses and plan on per-project basis * Businesses requiring stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs) * Business automating new areas of operation which need initial validation
If his experience is in line with what I have heard from CIO’s at similar enterprises, then he may well be blind sighted. For example, many businesses find that while their centralized governance processes are effective at improving security, there may also be some unintended consequences. While the CIO directs his team to implement policies to monitor the flow of information between internal users, customer, and partners, there may be some people in the company who are undermining his efforts. Tighter control at the corporate level may lead to longer approval processes for IT resources. And departments that need to complete a project quickly have never been very patient. As a result, developers and business unit analysts are leveraging cloud delivery models for quick and cost effective access to computing resources even if it means bypassing CIO instituted governance policies. Right now, the usage of cloud computing is small and is not impacting security or the expense structure in any significant way. However, I expect that as his company becomes more involved in cloud commuting this CIO will need to pay more attention to controlling the costs of cloud services and the management of cloud security.
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Web-services, SOA, BPM & Cloud Computing – X
The Google Chrome OS
The Google Chrome OS is targeted specifically to netbooks, not the primary device of use, but a secondary, portable, lightweight device. The OS is small enough to be loaded on a USB drive and booted from the very same device. Applications on local storage are few and far between and most useful, user applications are based in the cloud. The user interface is minimalist much like the Chrome Browser. Boot time is very quick with Google software engineer Martin Bligh demonstrating a bootup time of four seconds.
Cloud applications can expand your company’s horizons — and they’re not bad for the balance sheet, writes Cynthia Karena.The ability to access his company information from anywhere is what sells web-based business software to Simon Goodrich, the managing director of the digital technology company Portable Content (portablecontent.com).Web-based software is what you use on the internet with a web browser. There is no need to install or download anything and data is backed-up automatically off-site. The applications are a click away.// Many businesses use Google applications such as Gmail or Google Calendar but here are some lesser-known useful web applications suited to small businesses.Goodrich looks to web applications to save money, effort and time. “They are constantly being upgraded,” he says. “You don’t have to wait two years.”
So, what was the problem? The CIO was increasingly alarmed about three issues: * The lack of elasticity. If the company suddenly had a bad quarter and wanted to reduce the number of licenses supported, they would be out of luck. One of the key promises of cloud computing and SaaS just went out the window. * High costs of the services model. It occurred to the CIO that the company was paying a lot more to support the SaaS application than it would have cost to buy an on premise CRM application. While there were many benefits to the reduced hardware and support requirements, the CIO was starting to wonder if the costs were justified. Did the company really do the analysis to determine the long-term cost/benefit of cloud? How would he be able to explain the long- term ramifications of budget increases that he expects will come to the CFO? It is not a conversation that he is looking forward to having. * No exit strategy. Given the amount of customization that the company has invested in, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no easy answer – and no free lunch. One of the reasons that the company had decided to implement SaaS was the assumption that it would be possible to migrate from one SaaS application to another. However, while it might be possible to migrate basic data from a SaaS application, it is almost impossible to migrate the process information. Shouldn’t there be a different approach to integration in clouds than for on premise?