[LINK] IT warned: Cloud could make you look bad

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Fri May 22 14:33:52 AEST 2009

On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 8:51 PM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn
<brd at iimetro.com.au>wrote:

> A quote from the article:
> <the cloud "will come to be viewed as the fastest, cheapest and easiest
> way to source basic commodity ICT services".>
> A question from the article
> <why [do] in-house ICT services take so long and are so expensive to
> deploy compared to cloud-based services>
> My answer:
> <because most in-house ICT services are not "basic commodity ICT services">

I think you're reading to much into the question - the way I see it they
comparing deployments of equivalent systems - ie, an in-house Email system
v's a cloud-based email system.

Whilst your answer correct to some extent, I think you're missing the point
of the "cloud" approach.

At the end of the day the most important parts of a true "cloud" product are
multi-tennancy and reuse - be that reuse of hardware, software environment,
infrastructure, or even just skills.

If you try and implement a new CRM system for your organization it's going
to take somewhere between days and months to do it right. You're going to
need to install hardware, install the OS, setup a database, install the
application, configure it all and get it all talking. Then you're going to
have to think about redundancy and backups and who knows whatever else.
Then, finally, you're going to want to customize the product for your

If instead you call SalesForce they are going to enter a few details, tick a
few boxes, and then send you a password.  Of course, you'll still need to
customize their product for your environment.

What was different between the two?  It's the fact that you are re-using the
same hardware, the same installation, the same database, the same backups,
etc, as the customer before you.  The incremental effort of adding an
additional customer to a multi-tennant cloud service should be basically

The entire Salesforce "cloud" is around 1,000 servers, supporting 55,000
customers. If each of those customers had installed their own CRM system
you'd be looking at maybe 80,000 OS images to run it all - that's an 80:1
reduction in the number of OS images that need to be managed, not to mention
the power to drive it, the datacenter space to house it in, etc.


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