What the Cloud can Carry

It’s almost unfortunate that early generations of Software as a Service
were strongly influenced by small-and-medium business (SMB) needs for simplicity and
ease of use. When that origin is combined with the limited feature set
and shallow customization tools of many consumer-grade Web
applications, people can easily underestimate the true capability of
cloud-based applications and platforms.

When you look at the most pressing needs facing enterprise IT professionals — to engage business units in more of their
data-related tasks, to provide strong policy leadership in information security
and business process governance, and to ramp up their initiatives in data
analytics and search — it’s really quite clear that SaaS and PaaS are not merely capable, but ideal solutions to these needs.

  • When software as a service is
    delivered with powerful and accessible customization tools like salesforce.com’s
    programmable workflows, Apex Code for custom logic and Visualforce for user
    interface design, the business unit takes more ownership of the application and
    adopts the new tools far more broadly and rapidly.
  • When application usage is
    observable through a service provider’s dashboards and other assessment aids,
    there’s far better visibility into who’s using different types of data in
    various ways.
     
  • When a platform as a service makes it easy for applications to
    share data, conveniently but selectively, the most difficult and brittle parts
    of a business analytics initiative are handled with ease and flexibility, right
    up front.

I’ve made this case for the enterprise
readiness of the cloud in this 4-minute video, as well as in a more
complete white paper available for free download. Please tell me what
you think.

Published
July 10, 2008
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