Companies both large and small are promoting a “don’t buy/invest in any gear or software” just “pay us per month and we’ll share our cool stuff we have with you” model. This is opposed to a “buy you own” approach which is possibly more traditional to your organisations whether large or small.
These companies set up a shared system/platform) that they then slice up and sell to customers. The concept of “shared systems” has been around since the early days of IT. In fact, early computers were mainly shared system because the workstation/PC didn’t exist yet! What has changed is effectively who owns what.
While there are exceptions, such a system refers to “software as a service” or “hardware as a service” that satisfies some key criteria I define as:
- You don’t own anything; you rent space/capacity – effectively a privilege of using said service.
- Other customers use the same system (it is a homogenous service).
- The system is off site (often in another country) and accessible only via the internet, often the web – some very good points to this, but there are risks and concerns for businesses to address.
- You have limited (if any) control over how the system operates – your business processes match the system, not the other way around.
- You pay for (rent) the service on an on-going basis and if you stop, you usually lose your access.
So a customer is paying for the use of software or a system. That system could be processing power to run a website, it could be a web based accounting package, it could be file storage or it could be an email marketing tool – there are tons of examples. Whatever service/system it is your purchasing, this way of buying makes it somewhat simpler for people to see, focus on what is important to them, and make a decision on, and ultimately use. How any why? Does it make sense to go Cloud?
In my next post I’ll dive deeper into that. Stay tuned.