The past year has seen dramatic growth in IT vendor hype on the subject of delivering IT capability as a service. Vendors who used to pigeonhole the service model in a small and medium business segment are now trying to position their enterprise products as suitable for on-demand offering.

In the process, there’s been a lot of self-serving restatement — or even deliberate confusion — of the definitions of key technology elements that can represent fundamental business and technical advantages for a dedicated services provider.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that credibility matters: I never make a technical statement, even in a competitive situation, unless it’s what I personally believe and can objectively support. I’d like to see the debate on service offerings adhere to that level of rigor.

For example, I believe that a business applications platform can be architected from the bottom up for sharing of core functions, combined with customization of individual customers’ business processes and rigorous protection of each customer’s data. It’s not the only way to deliver IT as a service, but I believe it’s the best way, and I’ve written a white paper entitled “Why Multi-Tenancy Matters” that I believe makes that case.

I’ve also summarized my argument in a 2½-minute video: one way or the other, I hope you’ll give that case a hearing before you let others define the terms of your future options.

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