Tuesday, 26 August 2008

ASP, cloud computing, SaaS

Some time earlier, I have discussed differences between open source and SaaS (Software as a Service). I argued that instead of investing heavily in tuning open source into an application for your organization, it would be better to explore the SaaS model. Why would you need to own software at all? You need to have it available.

Providers like Google and Amazon offer the concept of cloud computing. It has many advantages, namely scalability and performance. Furthermore, you pay per use, like in the SaaS model. The difference with SaaS however is that you own your application and that application needs to be developed on the platform offered by Google or Amazon. The main question here is: what is a possible exit strategy.

This same question is applicable to SaaS: what is my exit strategy. As you buy services offered by a software platform, the exit strategy would be to port those services to another provider with its particular platform. It might need adjustment of that new platform, because the particular provider offers services somehow different. Standardization of services should help portability.
Another part of the exit strategy in case of SaaS is the portability of data. You should be able to transport data from one provider to another. A good strategy would be to implement data services and port those services and the accompanying data to a new provider. Again, standardization of data services would help. However, do data services offer you sufficient performance?

When choosing a solution to your IT challenges, several models are possible. Each model has its challenges of its own. In the future, standardization of services would be the solution to choose the model you want. If you buy software or a service, in both cases the supplier must support the appropriate services. Who takes the next step in service standardization?

1 comment:

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