Throughout this workshop, we have been looking at the factors that affect the acceptance of SaaS. Ultimately what it boils down to is trust, and when we look at what it is that creates trust, you tell us that the most important factors are: A demonstrable track record on privacy and security The quality of service and support …
Depends on who you ask...
What I find quite interesting about this whole SaaS and Platform as a Service stuff is that in general from my conversations opinion tends differ based on your role. Most (again generalising!!) Architects and Developers that you speak to have no problem with cloud as their jobs are fairly safe, ok you get the issues around current platform maturity but mainly a positive response as the roadmap for cloud unveils. BUT…iIf you are a IT Pro, you tend to hate it… mainly because it looks like your job is disappearing, Outsourcing 2.0
… the pin is out, now throw :- )
Simply put, *aas doesn't scale.
And stuff that doesn't scale is a non-starter in the computer world.
Are HP, IBM, google, MS. yahoo, facebook, myspace and amazon trading server-space? Will they ever? Why? Why not?
Do the math(s) ...
To be fair, most of the companies you mention are SAAS providers themselves.
You would end up in some weird recursive loop if SAAS providers also outsource their SAAS provision to the cloud.
Personally, though, I see SAAS and equivalent going the same way as all the other stuff that has been touted for outsourcing in the past, from office cleaning through distribution to IT systems: the press hypes a total outsourcing as the only sensible way to go but once the dust settles everything becomes a mixed bag depending on the needs and preferences of the individual company.
That is precisely my point. Do you understand the concept of "scale"?
How much scalability do you need?
We aren't all the CEOs of General Motors or Coca Cola here. The arguments about scalability disappear if you have a SME looking at bang for buck. I predict thats who is using this stuff and who will be moving to this. There are some big corporates who have "gone Google" so obviously it scales a fair size organisation. SMEs looking at the often disproportionate costs in on-premise systems are going to be well tempted if they aren't already.
I knew it - not a single mention of the main weak point in SaaS: How solid is the transit between you and your provider?
Even on a business tarriff, not solid enough to guarantee decent availability in some areas I'll wager(*) - and unlike losing a switch in your comms cabinet, you're at the mercy of an ISP to reconnect you to your apps.
(*) Based on my working from home experience over a business-grade broadband link, which has been pretty hair-tearing at times. Few companies other than big corporates can afford the sort of transit which does pretty much guarantee solid uptime.
Net neutrality anyone
Following on from the transit post, net neutrality has to be considered. Imagine if your broadband provider turned around and went 'we know that it's really important for your office to communicate with salesforce/azure etc, so we're going to demand an extra £n to 'guarantee' the safe passage of transit. Scary.
That's why I have a hybrid IaaS and a bit of PaaS model with the connectivity all from the same provider, no public net to be neutral about...
Computing in the Cloud...or whatever
The only cable provider here does provide an -email account when you sign up for their Internet access. It is terminated the day that the contract is over, with no grace (characteristic of Cox/Charter in my experience and opinion). This means a loss of data.
Now think about business accounts in the same situation. Then again, we're all dependent on something remote; the supply of electricity. Thus there are a number of potential arguments regarding security and availability and none are particularly pretty.