December 12, 2017
CIO Group Meeting Recap: Cloud/SaaS
Have you ever been afraid to utilize cloud services in fear of it not working out? Last Friday during our CIO meeting, Trevor Farnum, VP of Technology at Data Recognition Corporation, and Bill Sedoff, Director, Global Indirect Procurement at Ecolab, talked about the different cloud services available and how to stay on top of them.
One of the first things we talked about was defining the different cloud offerings that are available. These cloud offerings include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). You will find in slide 8, a graph that outlines these offerings and what you can manage, along with what vendor manages.
SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network. Examples include: Salesforce, Microsoft Office, Workday, and Google Apps.
PaaS refers to the delivery of operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. It lets customers create and deploy applications without having to invest in the underlying infrastructure. More SaaS providers are shifting towards PaaS.
IaaS means outsourcing the equipment used to support operations including storage, hardware, servers, and networking components. Examples include: Amazon Webservices, Microsoft Azure, VMware, and OpenStack.
Public vs. Private Cloud Based Services
The services listed above are considered public cloud-based services. Although private cloud-based services use technologies and approaches associated with public clouds (such as virtualization and self-service), they run on an organization’s own infrastructure and are dedicated to internal users. Experts agree that the IT market is entering a second wave for public, private, and hybrid cloud services. One of Trevor Farnum’s 2018 predications noted in our discussion is that hybrid cloud tools will advance and begin to be commoditized.
Contract Language for Mitigating Risk
Moving towards a cloud service can be a scare for some because of the risks involved. Bill Sedoff recommends a few tactics for mitigating these risks. First things first, it’s important to have a strong service-level agreement (SLA). SLA’s are an integral part of any IT vendor contract. Also, place a policy within your organization that states how the CIO should sign off on all things SaaS. Note how critical a cloud application is for your organization and be clear that the IT department owns it.
Trevor Farnum was kind enough to recommend a few services as well. First, RightScale Cloud Management enables operations teams to gain visibility over cloud use and manage cloud applications. And, Info-Tech Research Group is the global leader in providing tactical, practical IT research and analysis.
How does your organization utilize Cloud and SaaS systems?