Guest Column | April 30, 2013

The Cloud And The Power Of Change

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By Matt Pillar, editor in chief, Integrated Solutions For Retailers

What should software buyers know about the difference between hosted and cloud delivery of applications?

Darl Crick, CTO, CrossView: When looking at buying software to run in a cloud, you need to look for a software provider that offers on-demand licensing. The advantage of the cloud is its flexibility to scale up and down as your volumes change. This flexibility allows a customer to save by no longer buying for peak volumes; it can buy for average and then scale as needed.

In the past, business users and IT would wait four to six weeks after the green lighting of a new project for hardware and infrastructure to be in place. In cloud environments, the expense and effort associated with appropriating data centers, power, pipe, and so on is no longer a barrier to the starting line.

Now, let’s say you get the project going, and you determine you don’t like it, for whatever reason. It’s not performing, customers don’t like it, or associates can’t grasp it. There’s no cost to reallocate hardware or take a loss on software licenses. There’s no cost to say, “forget it, it wasn’t successful.” You just shut it down and move on, because you only pay as you use it.

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