This post was originally featured on May 21, 2013 in VentureBeat as a guest post by Matt Quinn, CTO of TIBCO.
We’re well beyond any question about whether cloud computing is the future. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) paved the way for the idea that organizations can operate some of their most important systems in an on- or off-premise cloud. Small, medium, and even large businesses accept that cloud computing delivers flexibility, cost, and scalability that business has never had before. Companies are gravitating to cloud because it brings very short time to value and doesn’t impact the current business model. Lower cost and less risk are very attractive propositions.
How big is this move? Forrester estimates that the average company has 9.3 different SaaS applications in use. Consulting firm Capgemini reports that 78% of new applications are deployed into the cloud — and that’s just the applications that are being tracked. In reality, workers today are practicing BYOS (Bring Your Own Service) as they experiment with SaaS in broad ways that IT, and even business managers, may not know about.
Cloud has its challenges
As cloud computing continues to mature and its use expands, it hasn’t been without challenges. The most significant limitation has been the increasing pain of a lack of integration between cloud applications and the rest of the business. This is a pain that becomes more acute as the cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise system invariably becomes more complex. On top of the integration challenge, the mechanics of cloud expose organizations to increased risk of data integrity, process latency and security. Oftentimes, SaaS applications are being marketed to the business, which likely looks at risk in a different way than IT or compliance. This is a challenge itself as the organization faces risks that aren’t understood or moratoriums on SaaS use that aren’t followed.