The Future of Computing Is Bigger Than the Cloud

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By Dean Alms

The importance of cloud computing is almost impossible to overstate. Already, new companies set themselves to run almost entirely on cloud software, while many established firms are adopting it selectively but aggressively.

Despite that, the future of business computing is bigger than the cloud. Not every traditional software system will prove to have an equally robust Software-as-a Service replacement, nor will every essential system prove to be worth rearchitecting for the cloud.

Now this is where the terminology gets tricky. I prefer to speak in terms of cloud software versus traditionally licensed software, as opposed to cloud software versus “on premises” software.  A lot of traditionally licensed software has been run on a licensee’s premises – and by that we can mean a server room down the hall, a licensee’s owned or leased remote data center, and even one run for the licensee under contract by a managed service provider. These days, that might even include “cloud hosting” arrangements, so the terminology can be muddy. Some cloud hosting arrangements can allow you to “lift and shift” existing systems, even complex ones such as ERPs, into their environment, essentially unchanged. That can have cost and performance advantages, but despite the overlapping terminology, cloud hosting is not the same as making an application cloud native.


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