Monday, March 23, 2009

Clouds and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

If you choose to just look over this document, it is understood. But please remember one thing.... This blog and the master document were made with google docs on a netbook using a broadband connection... Basically, in a nutshell Software-as-a-Service (cloud computing 101).

This document looks from a high level view of the technologies offered by cloud computing and considerations in what should be observed by each person reading this. The detail into each technology is coming at a later date. I will address each with the documentation supporting it.

Over the past twelve to eighteen months there have been significant shifts in the technology industry. The penetration of Google as a commodity and their direct impact to competitors has pushed for adaptation of these new philosophies. The result has lead to a revolution of technology not seen since the introduction of the software and PC’s of the 80’s and 90’s or the Internet in the 90’s and 2000’s.

The industry has been historically developed through the computing capacity of machines, the reduction of cost of storage and an exponential increase of bandwidth not only to businesses but the last mile for the customer. With the recognition of technology, development and deployment of the next stage has begun. Evaluation to this is critical to developing a business plan for the years out.

Simply, we either drive the bus or get run over by the bus.

Today we can carry technology services to everyone via traditional technologies. We have noticed a huge reduction of traditional services offered through the years basically reducing the need for several industries... (newspapers, landlines, distributed systems, etc). This reduction is largely attributed to advancement in technologies introduced into the business market.

While we were deploying our traditional client/server models and distributed environments, Google was growing and moving in a different direction as the “traditional” industry was consistently taking us within the distributed systems environments.

As all business has done, we built silos of technology that were and are still underutilized to the point of unnecessary expenditures and duplicity of skill sets throughout the Industry. But the design and use of technology is skewed to support our customer base in a fluctuating nature to grow and evolve dynamically with the technological advances. Simply, Google’s household recognition and published evolution followed by the success of clouds within Amazon and eBay (to name a few) has brought us to today.

Each year a new technology or application is introduced. Most industries wait to deploy this technology up to eighteen to twenty four months later. The hesitation causes us miss a technology cycle during the phase of waiting. Historically, we have felt that waiting for the first upgrade, revision or service pack release is a model that works. In reality it is a way of business is several years old. The difficulty lays in our competitors adopting technologies earlier and making it available immediately.

The following posts will touch on the direction of the market, how we should look at it, and ultimately position ourselves to take advantage of the technologies. We will look into how the Return on Investment (ROI) will show a cost savings.

And while reading through this document, keep one thought in mind: Currently there are approximately 15% of systems utilizing cloud technologies in varying degrees today. BY THE YEAR 2011, it is projected to be approximately above 50%. 2011 is just twenty months from now.

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