Ah, the cloud. How abused of a term you have become over the past 10 years. Originally the term "Cloud" evolved from IT network diagrams where engineers would just draw a big cloud shaped bubble to represent a network, whether internal, external, etc. Now it represents more than just a network diagram, but a new philosophy for the development, management, upgrading, and distribution of software. Unfortunately "Cloud" has also become one of the most abused buzz words in enterprise IT, ushering in a stampede of cloud-washing smoke screens by every old legacy software company.
Clouds can come in many forms, but behind the scenes they embody properties that are unique to modern software delivery techniques, such as:
But whether the offering is labeled a Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, or Community Cloud, there are certain vendor behaviors that customers have come to expect that separate the true cloud offerings from the smoke screens. A few smoke screen detector tips include:
For companies like Appian, it is frustrating to see legacy software vendors dilute the true innovation in software delivery coming from cloud vendors through bad development practices and marketing confusion. Cloud centric software companies are not just providing their software as an online service, but rethinking the entire process in which software is developed, managed, upgraded, and distributed. These innovations will empower cloud customers to spend less on IT, more on true technology innovation, and ensure their software investments don't grow stale andnoncompetitive over time.
As a customer, be sure to look into what you are truly buying. Is it a true, agile, and innovative cloud offering, or just a old legacy system with a smoke screen?
Vice President of Product Marketing
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