The cloud computing model of service-based computing has been widely lauded as the new approach by which enterprises should achieve new flexibility, power and cost savings in every industry. Yet not everybody is convinced, it seems. How can it possibly be safe to ‘rent’ your software applications on something akin to a pay-per-use basis and store your data offsite in a datacenter operated by a firm that you may never physically meet?
Of course it’s not quite like this because a) some cloud will be ‘on-premises’ and still located on company headquarters where data is too sensitive to host publicly b) some cloud will be ‘public’ (held in a datacenter) because it is comparatively lower value operational data and c) some cloud will be a ‘hybrid’ combination of the two – such is our current understanding and sophistication with the cloud ideal.
This is the core reality presented by the new incoming CEO at Swedish-headquartered enterprise applications company IFS (Industrial and Financial Systems) Darren Roos. Replacing the now retiring Alastair Sorbie, Roos comes to IFS with a track record of tenures spent as president of SAP’s cloud ERP business and a period overseeing Software AG’s international operations. IFS specializes in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Field Service Management (FSM).
No leap of faith
“Cloud is no leap of faith,” said Roos. “Although various notions of ‘utility’ style computing have been around since the 1960s, today we understand what the contemporary cloud can really do for us. As an industry (and I am talking about we the vendors, as well as our partners and customers), we have now worked to finesse our approach to cloud services and functions since the turn of the millennium, we’re now truly ready to apply the benefits of composable and discretely defined blocks of IT to the way we run our businesses.”
Roos claims to have core experience in ‘scaling’ companies in this modern era of cloud. This term ‘scale’ is a favorite among cloud protagonists because cloud can be ramped up, scaled back… or indeed turned off when it’s not needed because the particular part of the business it serves is not deemed to be profitable. If software runs the world and companies run on software, then cloud can allow software applications, data workloads and entire physical teams to be tuned up, turned down or shut off, rather like a hot water faucet.