IDG Contributor Network: Get on the Cloud Bus or Get in the Clown Car

Some innovations become part of a storyline that arcs from “visionary” to “comical.”

Take the cloud, for instance. Here’s what technology writer Nicholas G. Carr had to say about what we’ve come to call the “cloud” in his 2003 article “IT Doesn’t Matter”:

“More and more, companies will fulfill their IT requirements simply by purchasing fee-based ‘Web services’ from third parties—similar to the way they currently buy electric power or telecommunications services.”

This was three years before the launch of Amazon AWS and seven before Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declared “This is the bet for the company… For the cloud, we’re all in.”

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Salesforce Picks AWS as Preferred Public Cloud Provider

Salesforce has named Amazon Web Services its preferred public cloud provider for services like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and App Cloud, expanding an existing partnership to provide the backend for the software-as-a-service provider.

AWS already hosts several Salesforce services like Heroku, SalesforceIQ and the recently-announced IoT Cloud. This latest deal will help Salesforce to expand internationally without having to build its own data centers in order to comply with local data sovereignty laws. 

That’s important as Salesforce tries to pick up more customers in countries that have strict requirements about where data is stored. Salesforce isn’t the only company to turn to AWS in this capacity: Dropbox will store data with AWS in Germany starting later this year

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Google Says Welcome to the Cloud 2.0

Enterprises’ initial entrance into the cloud is over and they witnessing the arrival of the Cloud 2.0. That’s the word from Diane Greene, senior vice president for Google’s cloud businesses.

The first phase of the cloud involved testing the waters, figuring out how companies could save time and in-house effort by having apps and services run in the cloud and using the cloud to store data. The top concerns were security and reliability.

Fast forward several years, and enterprises that have moved to the cloud have resolved most of their worries, figured out if they want a private, public or hybrid cloud, and chosen their vendors.

Now CIOs want to do more than store their data and run their apps in the cloud.

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This Site Aims to Be the Yelp of the SaaS World

Online reviews have already transformed the way people choose everything from restaurants to respiratory therapists, and now SaasGenius wants to do the same for enterprise software in the cloud.

This week the company will launch a beta version of its service, and it invites participants to submit reviews of business software in 12 different categories.

In the past, businesses looking for software relied primarily on word-of-mouth reviews, but SaasGenius aims to tap the model that’s become so common on the consumer side.

“We all now rely heavily on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor in our personal lives — these sites feature trusted reviews to help us make quick, easy purchase decisions,” said Tom Gorski, cofounder and CEO at the firm. “Even employees in large companies now expect a more customer-like online research and buying experience.”

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