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Michael Vizard
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Cloud Computing Starts to Mature

The emphasis in the cloud is shifting from public to private cloud computing deployments.

While most of the conversation surrounding cloud computing tends to focus on cost savings, the most important thing about cloud computing at the end of the day may prove to be more accessibility to applications.


One of the disappointing things about enterprise software in general is its usability. Whether it is packaged software or custom developed, most end users don't tend to rave about the user interface of the software at work. But in an era where more companies rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn says that's about to change.


Coupa is one of hundreds of providers of SaaS applications. In the case of Coupa, the company makes a procurement application. Bernshteyn says that as more SaaS applications get introduced into the enterprise, we'll soon see a "democratization" of enterprise software. Because the user interface is a critical component of their business model, SaaS vendors devote a larger percentage of their resources to getting this critical part of the application right. As end users discover that, they will be more inclined to use the SaaS application than any piece of software currently installed on premise.


Of course, IT organizations will still have to deal with integrating all these applications being delivered via the cloud. But Bernshteyn notes that application integration issues exist on premise today, so the problem with SaaS applications in terms of integration is not that much different than what IT organizations already deal with. The role of IT may change in the cloud in the sense that they are not building and deploying applications, but they still have to orchestrate the management of those applications.


What Bernshteyn is driving at is that software vendors as a whole are betting the usage of software in the cloud era will actually increase. So while IT organizations may wind up saving money on IT infrastructure, it's more than likely that much of that money may need to be shifted into the software budget to pay for all that software, which is not only easier to use, but a whole lot more accessible in the cloud.



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