When I look at the emerging technologies like Cloud Computing and Software as a Service, I question if large businesses and enterprises will invest and adopt these technologies. We know from experience that there could be a gradual adoption on the enterprise side, however the off-network and cloud type services scare most CTO’s and Security Officers, which is all that is needed to slow adoption within the enterprise.

At the same time, Cloud and SAAS services are attractive to startups and companies with limited IT resources and budgets. Cloud Computing and SAAS solutions can be cost effective, however most of these organizations are in a different spot than the larger enterprise organizations. Startups and smaller organizations have the advantage of flexibility and speed which are keys to gaining success and market share. Technical strategies like Cloud Computing and SAAS can go a long way toward introducing mature technologies into these organizations, especially when they are purchased in scaled down pay as you go usage models.

But can we really compare the strategies used in startups against the strategies and technologies used by larger enterprises?  I think we have to, and I think that we should be looking at any technologies and strategies that save us money.

But, I have to ask the question, will they save us money, and with the increasing cost of servers, bandwidth and Data Center’s, is this a sustainable business model for the service providers? What is so different that service providers can allocate, support and make a profit from Cloud, SAAS and Infrastructure type services ? According to John Willis from www.johnmwillis.com, the difference is virtualization …….

As flour is to a cookie, virtualization is to a cloud. People are always asking me (their first mistake) what is the difference between clouds and the Grid hype of the 1990s. My pat answer is virtualization. Virtualization is the secret sauce of a cloud. Like I said earlier, I am by no means an expert on cloud computing, but every cloud system that I have researched includes some form of a hypervisor. IMHO, virtualization is the differentiator between the old Grid computing and the new Cloud computing.

So, is this another shift in computing ? I think it is the start of one, and hopefully the startups and early adopters will show us if Cloud/SAAS model a viable alternative for some enterprise level projects. If it is a viable alternative, and we can save money and still provide the same level of support and service, then you will see the enterprise move toward Cloud Computing and SAAS.