Fred Knight, the co-chair of Voicecon sent out a commentary this morning about cloud computing in the Unified Communications environment.
His article correlates to a discussion we had yesterday at the i-Tech staff meeting about cloud computing and how it may effect our clients. Many of the points about deploying UC in Fred’s commentary can be related to applications and network service in general. It also mirrors the opinion on this subject that I have gotten from the Gartner Group surveys and analyzes over the last year.
My take is that the cloud concept is an ok one for general application deployment – take the Salesforce.com example. If Salesforce.com works for you and you want to burden your salespeople with that application, then that may be a good option to deploy it via the cloud. But, Cisco uses Salesforce.com right now…as well as Webex (that they own). Do you think that the rest of their network applications are deployed in a third party cloud network? Accounting, inventory control, product development, CAD, etc…?
Static or slow growth situations also lend themselves to deploying cloud-based solutions. A slow economy and fear of the future would spur a company’s owner to choose a cloud-based deployment because of the elimination of capital costs. But if you’re planning on growing substantially, will the cloud provider be able to keep up? Probably not, especially if you need customized applications for business process deployment.
If you think about it, the cloud provider is interested in economies of scale…they need to address and price their products to appeal to the least common denominator in deployment parameters among their potential clients. Otherwise, their clients could build and maintain their in-house network for the same or less investment – and have complete control of the solution.
So many companies will want to look at cloud deployment strategies. But, like the article says in the end, how long it will take for that new cloud-based, business process to migrate back down to earth?
Let me know what you think. Does cloud computing fit your business model?