The following notes were taken by BMP during a recent Gartner webinar. The speaker was Daryl Plummer, Managing VP & Gartner Fellow, and in our opinion he did an excellent job making a topic that may seem intimidating quite accessible. To listen to an archived recording of the webinar, CLICK HERE.
The Real Truth About Cloud, Saas and What to do with your Money
The webinar began with a solid foundation of definitions on both terms. 97% of all Saas (software as a service) today is delivered using cloud computing, but not all cloud computing is Saas. At this point, most Saas is about applications rather than software, but we can see why solution providers would be hesitant to update the acronym.
Gartner's definition of cloud computing is "a style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided 'as a service' to external customers using internet technologies" (see slide 6). The five attributes of cloud computing are that the solution is service based, scalable & elastic, shared, metered by use, and an internet technology. Plummer was also very specific about the fact that cloud computing is not a technology, but a relationship model that allows the business to focus on desired outcomes versus the enabling technology.
One particularly effective analogy to explain cloud computing is that of an apartment complex. There are many units/tenants (cloud computing customers) in one building (cloud service provider). It is important to consider the thickness of the walls (security) as well as the consumption and availability of hot water (bandwith).
A Matter of Security
- Where is my data? Will it move?
- How are backups handled?
- How is it protected from others?
- Resource: Gartner has proposed a Cloud Bill of Rights for use in contracts. Click here to access it.
- Actual costs in the cloud are more variable
- There is nothing to write off because the entire expense is a service
- You may have to wait longer than 5 years to realize the savings associated with this model
- Also - it is easy to enter the cloud, but not easy to get out...
- Vendors now need to disconnect price from cost because most companies are moving from a capital budget to one based on expenses
Public v. Private Cloud
There are a range of models from private to public. Each organization needs to consider how they feel about the varying degrees of cost, control, flexibility, and risk.
- Internal private: uses your own hardware - the most private and controlled, but the most expensive
- External private: hosted on third party hardware but dedicated to your company
- Community private: hosted on third party hardwarethat is dedicated to a group of companies
- Public: hosted on third party hardware on a public infrastructure but with a private layer on top
- Full public: fully public and open - least expensive but most open to risk
Slide 25 offers a decisions making process outline diagram that will help you focus on desired outcomes as your driving factor. There is also a slide on recommended reading at the end of the presentation.