What you should know about sourcing Cloud Computing Alternatives

September 19th, 2011

What are some of the different solution alternatives available when sourcing cloud computing?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.

One of today’s industry buzzword / concepts is that of “cloud computing”.  Cloud computing is a generic labeling that has been applied to just about any hosted service that is accessed via the internet. It is one of the most rapidly growing technology areas in all business sectors today savings promises associated with a reduction in computer hardware  needs andn the related manpower associated with the same versus a company doing everything internally.

Today we are going to be focusing on three main categories of cloud computing that are available and the types of services that can be procured for your company in each one.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The most common category of cloud computing is the Software-as-a-Service model.  In this category are software packages that are physically hosted by another vendor in their environment, on their hardware, and supported by their resources.  The obvious advantage of this approach is having full-time support of an application that is maintained and upgraded by a staff you do not have to employ.  These models are usually priced on an as used basis making the ROI much easier to measure.  Examples of this model would be Retail Loss Prevention, POS and Pricebook applications such as those offered by companies like Retail Anywhere.

Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) – For those who are a bit more advanced and have some internal development resources  in their IT department, the Platform-as-a-Service model provides them the capability to design, test and deploy their own software applications in an environment over the internet.  With database, design studio and web engine license fees being so expensive in order to stay current , this provides a way for companies to develop and stay current with their tools without bearing the exorbitant fees required to do it internally.  Currently the Google Application engine is one example of successful offering using this model.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS) – The final category of cloud computing is Infrastructure-as-a-service delivering all of the hardware, network components, memory, hard drive space and processing power for a business and as such, effectively becoming the major component of an organization’s IT infrastructure.  The advantage of this approach is the capability to quickly and easily scale the model to fit a company’s needs without the major investment in the equipment and software.  This model can be as simple as providing data centers for your company or as complex as being responsible for almost everything an IT department represents in a company.  Amazon Web Services is one of the larger and more well-known offerings in this space.

With an ever increasing competitive landscape for many businesses where the call for reducing expenses is constant, these types of services will continue to gain increased favor while providing great value to those companies that can determine the best ways to leverage their collective or individual power. 

For assistance in sourcing these categories for your business, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  

We look forward to your comments.

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