@mitch: Snuck in under the wire! As a wholesale offering there's a long-term market. As a retail offering it will be surpassed by the other models very quickly. You can see the trend already in how Microsoft and IBM are marketing PaaS.
Net-net, if you like, you will almost certainly be able to justify SaaS if you can integrate it with your current operations. Everyone but a small business will be able to justify PaaS for at least some applications. Most companies will likely not be able to justify IaaS except for special situations.
Here's another stat for you. If a company applies an X% expected return on a cloud project and they get a failure on the first one, they respond by multiplying X by 1.5 for the next one. Moral: Don't mess up the first project!
@docelder - cloud solutions typically charge for transport/storage/processing & support - usage based pricing is what makes it so attractive to start with but then something like the network requirements or data volume is missed in the initial TCO/ROI estimates
@docelder: It's best to do a sensitivity analysis to see what variables could expose you to incremental costs, then monitor those variables to see if they are exhibiting those changes in your current system.
@labnuke: I think that's probably true, but as I noted there doesn't seem to be any history of somebody getting tangled in them.
@mitch: IaaS scaling is complicated. The costs of the services may have some price benefits with scale, but it depends on the provider.
@Docelder: In the surveys the biggest problem reported is failure to meet benefits. The number one reason is neglecting a cost item and the number two was underestimating one. Number three is that costs changed with usage and the user didn't expect it.
I see the benefits and cost savings, and you mention cost creep, but I have yet to see someone lay out the costs that could/will go up and thus not lead to the ROI that we thought when we moved to the cloud?
@django1: Most of the cloud conferences are love fests between vendors and the press; there's not much "education" out there. This sort of forum is one of the few places where you can get anything.
@docelder: You can measure costs by getting the price list for a provider, finding out what they charge for, and then using a monitoring tool to measure how much of those somethings your application consumes per unit time. That will give you a starting point; the next step is a pilot test to validate that.
@django1: That's becuase of the prohibited technology rules here in the US.
@kim. The EC has asked for countries to normalize their rules on online data storage to prevent problems, but most of my EC contacts tell me that's an issue for only about 15% of the cloud prospects there, and there's no history of there being adverse enforcement of current rules.
@mitch: It's a marketing task, mitch. You can't afford to "sell" in a proactive sense to a small business, you have to induce them to come to you to try to buy. That means building mechanisms to reach groups of users through advertising, seminars, forums, etc.
@alison: Thanks! I was in Latin America talking with a prospective provider and their biggest question was "how the heck can I prospect for my service without creating an enormous cost and little way of gauging my return?
@mitch: To an SMB, it should be. Direct cloud services even at the PaaS level will be harder for an SMB to consume; they need vertical SaaS if they can get it.
@ailsion I think the problelm outside the US is a sales problem not an opportunity problem. You can't go door to door selling clouds out of your suitcase, and there's not as much an active community there to support marketing and prospecting.
That's a very interesting perspective, Tom. So a cloud provider is more like an integrator or VAR (do we say VAR anymore?). Technical expertise is assumed, vertical experties is what enterprises want to look for?
@mitch: Most IaaS today (in dollar terms) is sold as a hosting strategy to companies who are building specialized web products or services. Most PaaS is sold to mid-sized businesses dependent on Microsoft, and most SaaS is sold to companies with loose or little internal IT.
@kim: It does sometimes, Kim, but the problem is that IaaS only displaces hardware cost and most businesses of that size can run out to Office Depot and buy a server for under a grand. That's a tough price point to beat.
@alison; the main thing is to look for specific expertise in your own vertical. Then look for a cloud-hosted package from that provider, or for one who has at least hosted their product in the cloud as an integrator.
renaissance2000 - If you are having problems with audio, please refresh your browser. If that doesn't work, shut down and restart the browser. If that doesn't work, switch browsers. If that doesn't work, it's possible you're dialing in from a corporate network with a firewall that blocks this stream, in which case you'll have to log in and listen to the archive later.
so much of cloud is usage based - must have an idea of your usage and then watch it closely - kinda like a cell phone contract - minutes/data are separate charges... pretty much same for cloud solutions
@django1 No, but there were a maid and butler there and they kept asking me if I needed anything, which made me really uncomfortable because I'm not used to being waited on like that. I kept wondering if I'd wake up and find them hovering over the bed!
It was sure historical! The brothers also designed what was probably the first of those multi-head-spray-from-everywhere showers, which I got to use the next morning. Wilbur, however, had long passed away.
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