Microsoft has received FISMA certification for its cloud computing data centres, a key step toward gaining customers in the federal government market that has been infiltrated by rival Google. However, Microsoft’s hosted Exchange and Online services have not yet been awarded FISMA approval.
Perhaps it was inevitable: the cloud is already parsing enormous quantities of information at a high speed for the world’s webmasters; why not diversify its processor types and apply that power to problems that previously required in-house supercomputing resources?
Zuora, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of subscription-billing offerings, named a Rising Star in the 2009 CRM Market Awards, has had a busy year. With quite a few big announcements, including a couple of product releases, a partnership, and a perspective about the end of buying, Zuora is accelerating faster than you can say "subscription economy."
According to research by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, 39 percent of small businesses (fewer than 100 employee) and 84 percent of medium-sized business (100-1000 employees) can be described as having a mobile workforce that, on average, spends at least four days per month out of the office.
There is little doubt that organizations are looking to software-as-a-service (SaaS) as more than just a means to cut their costs. In a recent post of SaaS buying trends, I shared Software Insider Ray Wang’s opinion that "SaaS will be the predominant entry point for new innovation" moving forward.
But will organizations benefit from this innovation without a methodical approach to SaaS?
On December 1, the Federal Trade Commission issued a preliminary report on new standards for Internet privacy. A central element of the proposed new standards is a "Do Not Track" list that will allow individuals to opt out of having their online behavior and personal information used by individuals and companies other than the ones that own the Websites they are surfing.
The issue of data management is one that will come to the fore for chief information officers (CIOs) during 2011, it has been predicted.
According to Ovum analyst Mark Blowers, the sheer volume of information now passing through companies will make this a key area of focus for such employees next year.
"The issue of hardware capacity and the drain on resources will see data management make it on to the investment agenda for IT departments in 2011," he predicted.
With the explosion of data and the need to make sense out of it all on a smart phone is creating an interesting opportunity. Mobile devices need high performance at low power, and Apple seems to be the only one that has figured out that having your own processor team and IP is actually a key advantage. And the telcos will need Petascale data centers to manage content, knowledge management, and operational intelligence and the performance per Watt of general purpose CPUs from IBM, Intel, and AMD are at least two order of magnitude away from what is possible. So why is there so little innovation in cloud hardware?
There’s a lot of discussion about unified messaging and communications in the cloud these days, but there seems to be more talk than action. Beyond basic messaging services from Google and Microsoft, there are very few robust unified messaging and unified communications offerings for the enterprise that are delivered as a true multi-tenant service in the cloud.