Cloud – Is there a Killer App? #SaaS #Paas

interstellar-that-ain_t-no-mountain (2)“That Isn’t Mountains, it’s a Wave. And it’s coming right at us!”

Anybody who has seen the film Interstellar should remember that line.  “That isn’t a Mountains it’s a wave!”  Apologies, I’ve used changed it slightly to fit this blog, but the context is the same.

If you haven’t seen the film, the “two stars” land on a planet and they see this beautiful calm sea, stretching out before them.  On the horizon it looks like wonderful mountains, they have a job to do, removing some debris and they can take their time.  It is then they realise (too late), the mountains are actually a wave, so high, it will engulf them.

I remember watching it and realising it made a great analogy to the parts of the technology industry which are ignoring cloud or hoping it will go way.  Somebody recently said to me “Cloud wont happen as the cost of hardware will reduce so much, you won’t need to go Cloud”.  But like the “mountains” in this film, Cloud / SaaS, is coming and coming fast!

(Great film if you haven’t seen it.)

This blog, covers what I define as Cloud; (yes, we have seen this all before;) but why this time it’s different.

 Is the move to Cloud Just Managed Services 2.0?

Everybody is talking about Cloud right now.  Cloud, some people are saying, is just like going back in time.  You put your thirty year old software in somebody else’s data centre and it’s cloud, right?  Sounds like what we have being doing for years.  I always called it Managed Services or Outsourcing.  Is this the age of Cloud or are we really in the age of Managed Services 2.0?

With the arrival of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) there is also major software change taking place.  People now expect to access their applications on their mobile; Social and the ability to collaborate should be standard (like on Facebook) and people expect report writing should be built in and not some after thought.

lipstick on a pigWhat Did We Learn Last Time There was Major Software Disruption?

Back in the day when we moved from “Green Screens” to GUI (Graphical User Interfaces), companies took legacy systems and then built a “screen scraper” GUI on the front end.  Will people be duped again?  If you put Lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig!

So be careful some people are saying they are Cloud, but it is still the same old, same old.

Cost of OP vs SaaSWhy Are Things Different This Time Round?

When I post the diagram on the left on Twitter, it always creates debate.

The great thing about Cloud, is you no longer have to buy hardware and you no longer have to worry about “feed and Watering” the systems.  At this point it all sounds like traditional Outsourcing contacts – just like I say above, Managed Service 2.0.

killer_appCloud – The Secret Ingredient / “Killer App”

BUT Cloud should also offer you upgrades within the cost of the monthly subscription.  This is the “Killer App“.  Imagine you have an Enterprise grade application such as SAP and still get the system fed and watered (as you did with any Outsourcing contract) but no longer need to pay for upgrades?  The Cloud vendor will take care of the hardware upgrade, operating system upgrade, the database upgrade and the Application upgrade with the subscription charge.

So while we can argue about the diagram above about the Cost of running On Premise(S) Vs Cloud, if you didn’t have to pay for another upgrade again, now that would impact massively on your budget. Right?

Cloud – This Time The Software Has Moved on Too?

Business users make decisions about software now, not IT.  They buy software that has been written for the Cloud.  There is also the expectation that (as I mention above) that the applications we use at work, will, look and feel like the applications we use at home.

This is the change taking place right now!  Applications should no longer look “clunky” and cost you significant money to upgrade.  This must be a win for companies and end users alike.  You save money, but more importantly the software moves from Transaction Process (TP) to Process Processing (PP).


Really keen for your comments and opinion below.

Tim Hughes is a speaker and a blogger.  He is also the #2 Global Social Seller and is recognised as a pioneer and innovator in the area of #Socialselling.  Tim can be contacted at @timothy_hughes



4 thoughts on “Cloud – Is there a Killer App? #SaaS #Paas

  1. Hi Tim. This is sharp. Really insightful and I had a couple of ‘Aha’ moments. As a layman, I hadn’t considered the implications and long term value in ‘killer apps’ but it makes sense. Having to pay for upgrades etc seems so 80’s when you talk about it the way you do! I think getting subscribers and members is definitely the way forward. Love reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Tim, I agree that IT shops in particular that say “we’ve been doing cloud for a long time, nothing new” with examples of “cloud” such as Hotmail/Gmail?Managed Services 2.0 are not only deluding themselves but are heading for a nasty extermination when their masters find out how they have been misled. I also think that the wave is about far far more than the maintenance of enterprise apps and infrastructure. The real significance and the huge difference to the past is that cloud enables firms to have access to multiple layers of abstraction and the API-economy which can potentially make or break their business. Facebook understood this and was part of it from day one, whereas Myspace did not and was obliterated. The ability to create “networked” functionality through layers of abstraction and enabled across SMAC is how cloud powers business. Those monoliths that stay within their own domains will be crushed, because the economics of business are against them.


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