Several decades ago, in a land far far away, you had to install your applications on a local computer. You know, the ones you buy shrink-wrapped in a box. And who ever reads the <insert expletive here> manual anyways?
You had to worry about overwriting files and the windows *.DLL files. The order of installation for software packages was important.
Fast forward a decade later, and you still had to worry about server software. I still have nightmares with my installation of Microsoft SiteServer, the predecessor to ecommerce software. You had to install the service packs and other packages in a particular order, or else it just wouldn’t work. Overwrite a shared component, and the whole server was toast.
But why is it when you buy a modular stereo system, all from different vendors (Sony, Pioneer, JVC, etc.), everything works? All the cabling and power are standardized. Just buy from different vendors, plug, and play?
The Cloud, Today
Today, the Cloud is just one big sandbox and everyone has to play nicely with each other. It doesn’t matter if you are building your IT department or core Business Application via Google Apps Marketplace or using Force.com and AppExchange.
For example, have you outsourced your corporate email to Google Apps and need an email auto-responder for Marketing?
Are you running your application on Force.com and need Marketing Automation or an Electronic Signature solution?
While CRM is taking center stage today, probably due to the great marketing efforts by Marc Benioff, other business apps such as ERP, HR, and ITIL Helpdesk are making its way in small medium and large businesses. Companies like FinancialForce.com, Workday, RemedyForce are just a few examples.
The key question is, will all the could based applications work nicely with each other?
That question remains the same 30 years later.
Business owners can now focus on functionality and ROI instead of the the technology stack of on-premise software.
And the consumer is lucky today as they can choose cloud based apps for their enterprise just like shopping for iPhone apps for home use.
The Open Cloud, not Open Source, is the key.