Cloud Computing Success Will Depend Upon Service Offered

by: Jeffrey M. Kaplan

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) latest pricing changes might make its cloud computing services more palatable to some IT decision-makers within enterprises, but doesn’t address the fundamental concerns of business decision-makers who are still unwilling to leverage its radical new capabilities.

While reducing costs is a key driver of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), trust is the most important reason why companies of all sizes decide to fully engage with a vendor. Trust is achieved by delivering the functionality you promise, but also by providing the support they need in case something goes wrong.

Until Amazon and other cloud computing vendors are able to provide this level of support, it will not be a key component of enterprises’ computing strategies.

Support is more than offering SLAs. Support means giving customers someone to contact or even call when there is a problem or they have a question.

In contrast, one of the primary reasons SaaS is gaining acceptance and experiencing growing adoption among enterprises, as well as small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs), is because the leading vendors have matured their support capabilities to satisfy business decision-makers along with their IT counterparts.

Some people use the SaaS and cloud computing terms interchangeably, and I agree that they share many of the same attributes and benefits. However, I continue to be concerned that uneducated IT/business decision-makers will reject SaaS offerings because of the inadequacies of the less mature cloud computing services.

I hope Amazon and other cloud computing vendors learn quickly that their mainstream acceptance will depend more on their support capabilities than their technical innovations.