With Amazon Web Services going down last week for an undisclosed amount of time, I thought it was time to reflect on the many facets of what it means to being ‘cloud-based’ and the idea that “All Clouds Are Not Born Equal.”
In fact, cloud computing encompasses a number of different services that share one common characteristic – that they are not ‘here’ but delivered via the Internet (which is really ‘the cloud’)!
TOA Technologies is an expert in what is called software-as-a-service (SaaS), which involves the supply of discrete applications to users via the Internet. These applications can be geared either to business users (such as an accounting applications, HRIS applications, CRM, or our solution – ETAdirect) or to consumers (such as an application for storing and sharing personal photographs or email).
Though there are many similarities between these two types of applications, there are many differences. And as the ‘net and the cloud evolve, it has become increasingly clear that even within the identical group of cloud-based applications (business or consumer) there may be considerable variables about what it actually means to be ‘in the cloud’ or ‘cloud-based’.
TOA’s world – the world of mobile workforce management and enterprise mobility solutions – is one where the application as a whole is a critical link in the chain of delivering goods and services, assuring revenue and customer satisfaction. In fact, it’s the primary tool that many companies’ mobile employees use to get and do their work. So bottom line: It’s company mission-critical and there is no way it can go down. The data is also sensitive and critical and there is no way to entrust it to a third party. So let’s consider then what ‘the cloud’ means to the enterprise buyer/customer where – not all clouds are born equal or should be considered equal.
When looking for and at the different options to purchase a business, mission-critical SaaS solution or what I call eSaaS – enterprise SaaS – I will try and answer the question: what is it that needs to be 100% guaranteed – what separates ‘the men from the boys’ and defines the true characteristics of a enterprise-ready cloud solution that can be trusted to serve companies with the same degree of reliability and sense of security that they had when they bought on-premise software?
In a series of posts that I will be writing – I will discuss the differences between the clouds and what’s important for an enterprise buyer to focus on when looking at the different options:
- What is the difference between public vs. private (or semi-private) cloud (meaning the well-known providers of cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) ) and others vs. buying an application that’s hosted and run in a semi-private or private cloud
- Data security
- Reliability and service level guarantees
- Command and control…who ACTUALLY is responsible for the app…(or The Buck Stops Here!)
- And more…