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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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3 responses to “Is a Move to Outsourced Cloud Application Hosting Positive?”

  1. Lee

    I find myself having to look up terminology as I read here because to be honest I am such a noob in this area. It seems to me definitions of terms are shifting. I looked up infrastructure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrastructure)and find that over time that word has changed.

    I remember when I first became aware of Google docs. I considered the positives of having my docs easily accessible anywhere, along with the downside of being dependent on Google for access. In the end, I decided I could trust Google enough to have access. I viewed Google like a power plant. I expect to have the power plant provide the electricity to provide power to my computer, so too I expected Google to provide access to the docs that I had written whenever I wanted. I felt secure and so did others.

    However, being new it was buggy, with frequent downtimes, and people losing their documents. There was great frustration for some because when they needed their documents, they couldn’t access them.

    Finally, I decided to try a company with less credentials (in my mind) than Google, but who seemed to provide a consistent service, that constantly upgraded their service without significant disruption in service. Those documents I felt were necessary to have redundancy I had in both the new company, Zoho, and in Google. Occasionally, I still do, though with considerably less frequency.

    The point I guess I am making is that we come to expect service from the infrastructure we use, whether it be a road, a power plant or apps. I don’t wonder each day whether I will have electricity. I just expect it to be there. For those companies that require non-interruption of service like hospitals, they have generators to carry them over the period of time till the service is back on. If you can’t afford loss of service, including apps, then redundancy or duplication is critical.

    Sorry for the length of comment, got carried away, :)

  2. Ben Kepes

    @Less – great comment – the utility analogy you give is excellent – and very apt

    Keep up the dialogue!

  3. gordodo

    As you noted, moving away from traditional software to SaaS offering requires trust and credibility, two things that most (new) SaaS vendors usually do not carry. I think a better strategy for new vendors would be to outsource instead of manage in-house so they have an shot at gaining that credibility by hosting with a known brand (force.com or Amazon are good examples).

    Another point worth mentioning is SaaS offering certifications. For example, when you build your app with force.com you have to go through a 3rd party certification process before they can be made available to salesforce’s customers. So here you have a PaaS vendor that actually helps you gain more credibility and user’s trust which you won’t be getting elsewhere as a new vendor.