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2008 Cloud Computing Year in Review

Cloud computing has clearly advanced from an interesting theoretical possibility to a practical reality for mainstream businesses in 2008. You know a technology innovation is gaining maturity when the pundits argue for an industry accepted definition—and race each other to the next new thing, which in this case is the emergence of Social CRM software solutions. But first, a definition of the cloud. Based on the contributions of Gartner, Forrester and other analyst firms and thought leaders, it seems we now have a near consensus like definition of cloud computing. According to the gurus:

The cloud characterizes a process model whereby providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities. The key traits of cloud computing include,

  a) delivery of capabilities 'as a service' (e.g. software as a service);
  b) delivery of services in a highly elastic and scalable model;
  c) use of Web technologies to develop and deliver the services; and
  d) designed for delivery to external customers.

With that fairly agreed upon definition, I'll leave you with my favorite cloud computing and SaaS based quotes gathered throughout 2008.

"The move to cloud computing is the single largest seismic change in the computing industry."
Tom Austin, Gartner analyst at Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit, September 2008

"My vision of the cloud includes the device of the user, the cloud companies are building, software running on a local PC and data stored on PC. Coordinate those different resources and that will be the success we see in the future."
Nicholas Carr, Author at Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit, June 2008

"Glitches in the cloud do not happen behind closed doors as with traditional on-premises solutions for businesses. Instead, when a small number of cloud computing users have problems, it makes headlines."
Matthew Glotzbach, Google Product Management Director in blog post October 2008

"I don't have to build new servers, rack them up and wire them up in our data center."
Christian Gough,

"Cloud-enabled computing is the model for the next 20 years. But it's not here yet."
Frank Gens, analyst at IDC

"In the old days, if you owned a data center and software, you were successful. Now owning those is perhaps a liability. As we look forward at the modern enterprise, the question becomes - What do you need to own?"
Jeff Schulman, Gartner analyst at Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit, June 2008

"Now we have giant data centers in multiple places, we have structured data and information in the cloud. This is the heart of next generation computing. This is ironic for those of us who have gone from the mainframe to mini-computers. It really frees up our personal terminal to become much more of a personal tool. It has an impact on the way applications will be developed and how you will use them in the future."
Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies at Destinationcrm conference, August 2008

"We'll make cloud computing announcements. I am not going to fight this thing. But I do not understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing."
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle at Oracle OpenWorld September 2008

"Instead of writing our own applications and spending time giving value to customers, we can rebuild what somebody else has already done and probably do it at a tremendously higher cost."   (satire statement directed to organizations intent on creating their own internal clouds)
Marc Benioff, CEO of at Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit, June 2008

"Cloud computing is stupidity. It is worse than stupidity, it is a marketing campaign."
Richard Stallman, Founder of the Free Software Foundation, to The (UK) Guardian September 2008

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December 30, 2008 at 10:01 PM in SaaS | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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This blog is focused on hosted, on-demand or software as a service (collectively SAAS) business solutions. To qualify as a SaaS solution, the service should be offered on a subscription (pay as you go) purchase price, housed in a multi-tenant data center and delivered remotely over the Web to web browsers. Business applications include about any front office or back office business system. Frequently cited business applications include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Sales Force Automation (SFA) systems, Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) systems, Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems, Manufacturing Systems and Human Resource (HR) systems.