30,000-Foot Views of the Cloud

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Cloud computing is the catchphrase of the moment, and whether the notion is lightning in a bottle or nothing more than vapor, it’s having a radical impact on the CRM landscape. (See our cover story, “The Google-ization of CRM,” page 22, for more on how the cloud is raining down on the industry.) Below, a few insights on the subject from various thought leaders—but feel free to email us at viewpoints@destinationCRM.com with your own views, or favorite quotes. 

“The move to cloud computing is the single largest seismic change in the computing industry.”
—Gartner analyst Tom Austin (Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit, September 2008)

“Now we have giant data centers in multiple places, we have structured data and information in the cloud. This is the heart of next-generation computing. This is ironic for those of us who have gone from mainframe to mini[-computers]…. It really frees up…our personal terminal to become much more of a personal tool…. It has an impact on the way [applications] will be developed and how you[’ll] use them in the future.”
—Tim Bajarin, president, Creative Strategies (destinationCRM 2008 Conference, August 2008)

“My vision of the cloud…includes the device of the user, the cloud companies are building [and buying into],…software running on a local PC, [and] data stored on [a] PC. Coordinate those different resources and that will be the success we see in the future.”
—Nicholas Carr, author, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google (Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, June 2008)

“In the old days, if you owned [a] data center and software, you were successful. Now owning those is perhaps a liability. As we look forward at the modern enterprise, the question is: What do you need to own?”
—Gartner analyst Jeff schulman (Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, June 2008)

“The point of control is changing. The point of architecture is changing. What people tend to fall into is oversimplifications. ‘The cloud as the [only] answer’ is an oversimplification. [It will really be] a series of platforms behind the scenes…. That’s going to be where disruption happens…. Some companies are ahead of the curve, like Salesforce[.com]. Some not talking about the cloud may be losers.”
—Gartner analyst David Mitchell Smith (Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit, June 2008)

“Glitches in the cloud don’t happen behind closed doors as with traditional on-premises solutions for businesses. Instead, when a small number of cloud computing users have problems, it makes headlines.”
—Matthew Glotzbach, Product Management Director, Google Enterprise (blogpost, OCTOber 2008)

“We’ll make cloud computing announcements. I’m not going to fight this thing. But I don’t understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing.”
—Larry Ellison, cofounder and CEO, Oracle (Oracle OpenWorld, September 2008)

“These are difficult and unusual times. There’s certainly a lot of fear out there. But our opinion is that there has never been a better time for cloud computing.”
—Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com’s cofounder, Chairman, and CEO (Dreamforce ’08 user conference, November 2008)

“‘Instead of writing our own applications and spending time giving value to customers, we can rebuild what somebody’s already done and probably do it at a tremendously higher cost.’”
—Benioff, sarcastically chiding any organization’s intent to create its own internal cloud (Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration summit, September 2008)

“[Cloud computing] is stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: It’s a marketing hype campaign.”
—Richard Stallman, founder, the Free Software Foundation; creator, GNU computer operating system (September 2008, to The Guardian [U.K.])

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