Examples of Anderson's predictions about cloud's promise can be seen across the market. Some startup e-commerce sites, like Coupa, don't own any infrastructure and have decided to run their entire company from the Amazon Web Services cloud. Other companies are taking a more measured approach to embracing the cloud.
GFI Software, which provides a range of IT service management software products, including infrastructure, security and email services, recently announced a plan to transition all of its software offerings to a cloud-based SaaS delivery model. "We have to do it, it's the wave of the future," says CEO Walter Scott. "Customers want simplicity, and the cloud is the simplest way to deliver a software service." The cloud offers faster deployment for consumers and easier management. In a cloud-based model GFI will be able to automatically install security patches or other updates from a central point and have those distributed to all of the application's users.
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It's still a transition for the market though, Scott says, and not all customers are ready to fully embrace the cloud. Many European companies are adopting the technology at a slower pace than U.S. counterparts. GFI will continue to offer on-premise installations as well as cloud-based services as the company transitions its dozens of applications to a hosted model.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.