Last week Ballmer has told Microsoft partners not to fear a future where software is delivered as a service, even though some will end up as road kill in the migration online….
“The chief executive told a worldwide partner conference in Houston, Texas that Microsoft can’t give competitors the edge in cloud services. He said business models and software architectures must change for scale and availability, ads serving and service subscriptions.”
Cloud computing is definitely a trend- Salesforce.com, Basecamp, etc, but I think it’ll take another 2 years for the tipping point to occur, as there are adoption fears:
Security: Many IT executives make decisions based on the perceived security risk instead of the real security risk. There is a fear of loss of control for SaaS deployments based on an assumption that if you cannot control something it must be unsecured. The IT will have to get used to the idea of software being delivered outside from a firewall that gets meshed up with on-premise software before it reaches the end user. The intranet, extranet, DMZ, and the internet boundaries have started to blur and this indeed imposes some serious security challenges such as relying on a cloud vendor for the physical and logical security of the data and authenticating users across firewalls.
If you have ever tried to connect to certain file sharing applications or on line games, you would know that it requires punching holes into the firewall, something I would only recommend for the fire hardened end user.
Latency: Perceived perception I agree. To open a file you have to connect to some external server in the desert in Texas, instead of the server down the corridor in the forbidden part of the building –The server room.