The Cloud is a Disruptive Technology

We’re right in the middle of fall tradeshow season, and with more and more people talking about the cloud, sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in buzzwords.

“Adoption of cloud technology has gone from 0 to 100% in five years…an unprecedented technology adoption cycle in any industry but especially for the life sciences industry,” says Matt Wallach in a recent interview with IT Briefcase. And companies, knowing how lucrative the cloud can be, have coined all kinds of confusing terms to describe the cloud in order to suit them (private on-site cloud, hybrid cloud, shared private cloud, etc.). But the reality is, none of those terms really matter.
Cloud Disruptive Technology
Think about it: your users don’t care if a service is “in the cloud” – they just want it to work. Heck, according to one report, 84% of people can’t explain the cloud even though 95% use it. What’s important is the value the solution provides; it’s not about the terminology.

The value of the cloud lies in multitenancy. Multitenant software means that everyone uses the same version at the same time. Think Gmail or Ebay for some consumer examples. With all of a company’s resources devoted to a single version, they can bring updates faster, pass on economies of scale, and deliver real value. (We explore the benefits of multitenancy extensively in our white paper, “SaaS Knockoffs,” which you can access here).

It’s not just about repackaging the same old on-premise or hosted software, putting a shiny bow on it, and renaming it a private or hybrid cloud. The cloud is a disruptive technology, requiring a radical new way of thinking. A traditional software company can’t simply turn around and do something completely different than what they’ve been doing for the past 15 or 20 years. It’s why Apple came up with the iPod and not Sony, the leader in Walkmans. A new audio device required complete out-of-the-box thinking. Both let you listen to music. Other than that, they are worlds apart.

So don’t worry about keeping these cloud terms straight. Instead, stop and focus on what’s really important: not just a marketing term, but the value of the solution itself.