“True Cloud”… here to stay?

Consumers are already reaping the rewards of ubiquitous access to their data anytime, anywhere and from any device. Many are even using cloud based services such as DropBox for work. Employees are embracing the cloud and businesses are having to adapt accordingly.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Consumers are already reaping the rewards of ubiquitous access to their data anytime” hashtags=”cloud, IoT”]

With market research firm, Gartner, predicting the global market for cloud-computing services to reach $240 billion by next year, cloud services appear to be here to stay; but what about the next generation… the true cloud generation?

What is “True Cloud”?

Not all hosted offerings marketed as “cloud” are true cloud solutions. Many suppliers are “cloud washing” or “dirty hosting”. True cloud, often referred to as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), offers massive economies of scale and long-term strategic benefits not achievable by on premise or hosted solutions.

True Cloud solutions offer the following:

  • Scalable usage: SaaS solutions offer high scalability, which gives customers the option to access more, or fewer services or features on-demand.
  • Automatic updates: Rather than purchasing new software, customers can rely on a SaaS provider to automatically perform updates and patch management. This further reduces the burden on in-house IT staff.
  • Accessibility and persistence: Since SaaS applications are delivered over the Internet, users can access them from any Internet-enabled device and locations

Many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions that are described as running in the “cloud” are in reality designed to run on premise. While these vendors may host these “cloud” ERP solutions, they typically are unable to fulfil the above criteria, meaning that businesses are not enjoying the benefits of true cloud. True Cloud delivered ERP is what we call Enterprise SaaS.

Meeting business needs

Businesses are turning to the cloud because it offers a simpler, faster and more flexible solution. It allows businesses to scale up or down quickly providing flexibility when responding to changing market demands. Most organisations are keen to focus on their core business rather than technology and the complexity of running or updating their software and infrastructure.

Enterprise SaaS takes cloud to the next level, enabling businesses to reduce costs, adopt emerging technologies such as smart mobile devices and future-proof their organisations.

The new market

With increasing mobility, employees are expected to work in multi-locations using a number of devices, while accessing the same business data. With the right software this is possible without compromising on functionality.

Businesses can deploy on premise mobile apps but this approach is not without its challenges. Managing security and devices is complex, particularly when a device-installed app is used. Many vendors attempting to provide mobile solutions often confuse simplicity with reduced functionality. Enterprise solutions are generally rich in functionality, data and processes. “Dumbing down” the mobile front ends by providing only limited functionality and process to make the user experience simple.

By combining cloud and mobile, and using software that works across all devices, organisations can access their enterprise information from any device. With software that is wholly web-based, users simply sign in for a service they can use anywhere, any time and on any device.

What does the future hold for “True Cloud”?

As understanding of the technology and market matures, we will see increasing adoption of the cloud. Widespread adoption will be driven by consumer demand for cloud as employee personal use continues to increase. Just as cloud becomes universally accepted in consumer technology, we will see businesses embrace it within their organisations.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Widespread adoption will be driven by consumer demand for cloud” hashtags=”cloud, IoT”]

As this preference for true cloud increases, demand for on premise software will decrease and we will see many vendors facing a major dilemma. Many of the ERP software solutions today will simply reach end of life and the industry will experience a rationalisation and shake out not seen since the days of Y2K.