Cloud and SaaS technology can be great technologies if leveraged properly, the reality is not many organizations know where to start. Should they start with IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, storage, services or a combination of products and services ?
Although CIO’s and CTO’s are willing to investigate cloud and SaaS solutions the hype and information overload is often enough to confuse most. Do you use the cloud to augment existing systems, unite disparate systems, add functionality and how do you mix on-premise existing enterprise software with cloud ? How do you form an effective IT strategy for combining on-premises cloud and services delivered through the cloud and is it a business or consumer cloud application?
Enterprise software vendors are scrambling to define which market segment they fit into. Certain vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, HP, Bell, Verizon etc. and many others are still carving out there niche. Vendors are tossed up as to whether they should deliver cloud services to the consumer or the enterprise. In most cases it is usually a two prong strategy such as in the case of Microsoft provisioning Azure as both a consumer application and enterprise application by using it as an IaaS, PaaS and a SaaS play. This confusion may dissuade consumers to select certain vendors as they are unaware of their intentions.
Many virtualization software companies are partnering with SaaS applications to provide the infrastructure, platform and application. From a consumer point of view it is good strategy as everything is pre-packaged, however that causes a support issue of if something fails who’s responsible, the IaaS, PaaS or SaaS vendor ? Is it one point of contact, how does the service level agreement address outages, breaches etc.
The next few points are aimed at enterprise software cloud and SaaS vendors as to how they can clarify their message on whether their solution is consumer based, enterprise based or both.
- Vendors must clearly define their niche and strategy on how to target cloud consumers whether they are private consumers or enterprises
- Solidify partnerships between collaborating vendors to deliver infrastructure, platform, application, database etc.
- Establish a single point of contact or support and accountability
- Clearly delineate between vendors pertaining to the SLA where support starts for one vendor and the other ends
- Educate all consumers on cloud security and how it can now be trusted as a valid, accepted technology
As can be seen, many software selection issues can be mitigated if organizations have a clear direction of what they would like to accomplish with the cloud and SaaS solutions. The key is to engage an impartial consulting firm to help you align your business and IT strategies and shows you how to get to maximize the cloud to accomplish those goals.
Eval-Source is an Analyst/Consulting consulting firm that offers enterprise software evaluation, cloud computing consulting, business process optimization and technology planning for organizations. Our innovative professional services make your life easier whether it is to acquire enterprise software or provide you with fact – based information to match your business with IT. Eval-Source provides critical decision support to validate your technology investments using the Tru-Eval system. Follow our blog at www.eval-source.com/blog or on twitter @eval_source or our site http://www.eval-source.com