Experiences and practicalities of SaaS and Cloud Computing from an ardent supporter and user.
The Cloud - clouding the issue?
Ed's note: We took the liberty of adding the YouTube video above, which shows Richard posing his question to the Cloud panel at Softworld. Thanks to Dennis Howlett, who filmed the event.
I have just returned from Softworld. I went this year as, for the first time, it was highlighting Cloud Computing and there was obviously a great deal of interest in the topic.
There were a number of Masterclass presentations and it was good to see that the main one I attended - entitled Cloud computing: Where are the business benefits? - was extremely popular.
All good stuff, but....
There is a line in an old Carpenters song (I know that dates me!) which goes:"...we tried to talk it over but the words got in the way...". Listening to the panel of eminent speakers at this particular seminar brought that line very much to mind.
The subject was simple enough - what are the business benefits of Cloud Computing. However, left to the main Vendors that were speaking, the subject could just as easily been "Quantum physics for beginners". There were so many acronyms and jargon speak used that to the unitiated the topic was the most complicated issue.
And this, surely, is the point. Cloud Computing is on the cusp of something major, I am sure, and in a few years time most of us will probably be amazed that we ever used anything else. But the majority of potential users are not technically minded and are not really that interested in what is under the bonnet. They want to get in the car and drive knowing that it is going to get them from A to B safely.
The advantages of Cloud computing are really very simple and can be summed up thus:
1. It is more flexible
2. It enables 24/7 access - anytime anywhere.
3. It is generally cheaper
4. It reduces internal infrastructure costs and requirements
5. It facilitates collaboration and
6. It's greener.
If we leave "selling the cloud" to the vendors, the advantages will get lost in the jargon.
..The concept is basically very simple.. keep it that way.