Cloud computing is still a marketing definition

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Aug 25, 2009

As the world prepares to move to the cloud, Simon Dale, SVP (business user & platform) of SAP APJ, talks about the need for the It community to come up with a clear definition for cloud computing and refutes the feeling that moving to the cloud is fraught with risks.

On the lack of a definition for cloud computing

How do you define the cloud? For now it is still a marketing definition with nobody having come out with a proper and complete description of cloud computing.

SAP is a part of the cloud computing council, which is trying to come out with a direction and a set of standards for cloud computing.

Are people who term cloud computing as risky justified?

There is no risk in cloud computing, the risk lies in rushing in blindly. When it comes to on-demand services, there will always be an element of risk. CIOs should decide how much control are they willing to lose over their systems or how much control do they want to retain, because there is always going to be a weak point in a network.

At the end of the day, the success of cloud computing will depend on how much reliability and scalability it can provide to users.

How does one differentiate between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing?

Think of SaaS as an endpoint, you can always put a finger on SaaS and know where it ends or begins. Cloud computing is different as it works in the layers present behind this endpoint. Cloud computing is just an evolution of various technologies, a convergence of many things like bandwidth, virtualization, connectivity, etc.

What about India? What is the current scenario in India?

Indian service providers should be asking themselves where they are going to deliver cloud service from. The question is whether India has the location, infrastructure, security, etc. to provide cloud computing services. If India wants to be a player in the cloud computing space, it needs to gain credibility. The country has a good talent pool and ideas will be plenty, but the concern is whether these ideas will or can be executed.

As for the user side, SMEs could be the first to take a step towards cloud computing.