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What is the Cloud Really?

The pay-as-you-go model is not unique to the cloud. In the 70’s and 80’s we called them service bureaus; in the 90’s they were ASP’s’; around 2000 SaaS was the latest buzzword until 2006 when Google started called it the cloud. So pay-as-you-go is clearly a characteristic of the cloud, but it is not a unique differentiator.

The who-does-it characteristic also doesn’t work since private clouds may or may not be delivered by an external 3rd party. And device-independent global access is a characteristic that just about any modern enterprise application offers as a standard feature. Finally, resource pooling is an approach that has been central to Integration Competency Centers for the past 15 years.

So what differentiates the cloud from prior service models – and what differentiates it from other computing or business models? The answer is IT self-service. In other words, just as you can have self-service checkout at a retail store, or self-service banking at an ATM, the cloud enables self-service IT business solutions. One of the biggest successes of course is salesforce.com along with Informatica Cloud which enables business users to not only use the functional capabilities of salesforce.com for lead tracking, order management and marketing campaigns, but also to keep the data synchronized and integrated with internal corporate IT systems. And to do it all without having to launch an IT project.

Informatica has been an early advocate of Cloud computing in the integration arena, and now with the 9.1 platform release, the self-service capabilities have just become even more powerful.

Read the full article by John Schmidt at Informatica Perspectives Blog

Mark Dexter

June 19th, 2011 View my profile

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