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Communications of the ACM

Technology strategy and management

Cloud Computing and SaaS as New Computing Platforms


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Credit: Richard MIa

To become an industry platform, vendors must open their infrastructure technology to other product companies.

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CACM Administrator

The following letter was published in the Letters to the Editor in the July 2010 CACM (http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2010/7/95049).
--CACM Administrator

Describing the network effects of a cloud strategy, particularly when it involves SaaS platform efficiency, in his "Technology Strategy and Management" Viewpoint "Cloud Computing and SaaS as New Computing Platforms" (Apr. 2010), Michael Cusumano said that major cloud hosts, including Amazon, Google, and Salesforce, generally rely on detailed SLAs to guarantee security and other parameters for their hosted customers. However, many such hosts, including Amazon SimpleDB and Google Apps, agree to SLAs involving only, perhaps, performance degradation limits and availability of a given service. If cloud-related SLAs fail to include more specific parameters, the cloud infrastructure risks closing itself to new, innovative services due to its lack of dependable guarantees.

Burkhard Stiller and Guilherme Machado
Zrich, Switzerland


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