Cloud – Is there a Killer App? #SaaS #Paas

“That Isn’t Mountains, it’s a Wave. And it’s coming right at us!”

Anybody who has seen the film Interstellar should remember that line. “That isn’t a Mountains it’s a wave!” Apologies, I’ve used changed it slightly to fit this blog, but the context is the same.

If you haven’t seen the film, the “two stars” land on a planet and they see this beautiful calm sea, stretching out before them. On the horizon it looks like wonderful mountains, they have a job to do, removing some debris and they can take their time. It is then they realise (too late), the mountains are actually a wave, so high, it will engulf them.

I remember watching it and realising it made a great analogy to the parts of the technology industry which are ignoring cloud or hoping it will go way. Somebody recently said to me “Cloud wont happen as the cost of hardware will reduce so much, you won’t need to go Cloud”. But like the “mountains” in this film, Cloud / SaaS, is coming and coming fast!

(Great film if you haven’t seen it.)

This blog, covers what I define as Cloud; (yes, we have seen this all before;) but why this time it’s different.

Is the move to Cloud Just Managed Services 2.0?

Everybody is talking about Cloud right now. Cloud, some people are saying, is just like going back in time. You put your thirty year old software in somebody else’s data centre and it’s cloud, right? Sounds like what we have being doing for years. I always called it Managed Services or Outsourcing. Is this the age of Cloud or are we really in the age of Managed Services 2.0?

With the arrival of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) there is also major software change taking place. People now expect to access their applications on their mobile; Social and the ability to collaborate should be standard (like on Facebook) and people expect report writing should be built in and not some after thought.

What Did We Learn Last Time There was Major Software Disruption?

Back in the day when we moved from “Green Screens” to GUI (Graphical User Interfaces), companies took legacy systems and then built a “screen scraper” GUI on the front end. Will people be duped again? If you put Lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig!

So be careful some people are saying they are Cloud, but it is still the same old, same old.

Why Are Things Different This Time Round?

When I post the diagram above on Twitter, it always creates debate.

The great thing about Cloud, is you no longer have to buy hardware and you no longer have to worry about “feed and Watering” the systems. At this point it all sounds like traditional Outsourcing contacts – just like I say above, Managed Service 2.0.

Cloud – The Secret Ingredient / “Killer App”

BUT Cloud should also offer you upgrades within the cost of the monthly subscription. This is the “Killer App“. Imagine you have an Enterprise grade application such as SAP and still get the system fed and watered (as you did with any Outsourcing contract) but no longer need to pay for upgrades? The Cloud vendor will take care of the hardware upgrade, operating system upgrade, the database upgrade and the Application upgrade with the subscription charge.

So while we can argue about the diagram above about the Cost of running On Premise(S) Vs Cloud, if you didn’t have to pay for another upgrade again, now that would impact massively on your budget. Right?

Cloud – This Time The Software Has Moved on Too?

Business users make decisions about software now, not IT. They buy software that has been written for the Cloud. There is also the expectation that (as I mention above) that the applications we use at work, will, look and feel like the applications we use at home.

This is the change taking place right now! Applications should no longer look “clunky” and cost you significant money to upgrade. This must be a win for companies and end users alike. You save money, but more importantly the software moves from Transaction Process (TP) to Process Processing (PP).

Tim Hughes is a speaker and a blogger. He is also the #2 Global Social Seller and is recognised as a pioneer and innovator in the area of #Socialselling.