Food for thought…
A long time ago there lived a very rich man called Ramu in one of the remote villages of India. His village, Ramnagar, was a plush green village with an abundance of natural resources. His family comprising his wife and two kids used to live in their ancestral house surrounded by very fertile agricultural fields. The family survived on the rich legacy left by their forefathers and used to cultivate all kinds of crops for their culinary needs. They had huge plantations of rice, wheat, barley, pulses, fruits etc. and even had a lot of cattle. They never had any scarcity of food and used to live happily cultivating whatever they wanted to eat.
As fate would have it, their happy-go-lucky existence could not last long as the government took over most of their agricultural land as it came under disputed territory. So now they were left with only their ancestral wealth and very little agricultural land. To add to their misery, due to global climatic change their village also started experiencing water shortages and some spells of draught. The family then had to change their culinary habits. They used to buy the food ingredients like rice, pulses, wheat etc. from outside and cook food in-house. He also started a small business but soon realized that his resources would not last too long. So, he decided to venture out in search of a new job in a neighboring city leaving his family behind with sufficient money to suffice their daily needs till the time he returns
He found a shared accommodation with the help of one of his childhood friend. He spent most of his time ideating on new business ideas. He only had one room where he put his belongings. He had to buy his own food ingredients however was allowed to use the shared operational kitchen which had facilities of gas stove, basic spices, cooking oil, utensils etc. So, he used the platform and with the food ingredients that he bought every day, used to cook his own food. However, he had to pay a nominal amount to his friend in order to use the kitchen facilities
His friend found a new business opportunity in another city and decided to move out. This meant that they had to vacate the current accommodation. As a gesture of friendship, his friend agreed to let Ramu have his kitchen belongings like gas stove, spices, utensils etc. Ramu tried to look out for another accommodation but only managed to find even a smaller independent room which had no kitchen. Ramu approached his neighbor who had a vacant room and requested whether he can use that room whenever he wanted to cook food. He would then bring over all the kitchen equipment and food ingredients to his neighbor’s room and paid him some amount to use his facilities. That room was used by other people for other purposes like conducting meetings, small get-togethers etc. at other times who also used to pay a nominal amount to the owner to use the infrastructure
Days passed by. Ramu’s business idea clicked and he soon started generating a lot of profits. He purchased a bigger apartment and started focusing a lot on this business. He did not have the time to cook, so most of the times ordered his favorite food from the restaurants
In a few months he also called over his family from the village and lived happily ever after!!!
So much so for the fairy tale of Ramu and his family. However, let us take a step back and reflect whether we can draw any parallels between Ramu’s culinary conditions in his various stages and industry IT models. His initial state in the village where he used to grow and cook his own food is synonymous to the traditional IT model where enterprises used to build their own legacy IT solutions on their own hardware infrastructure for their operations. Due to challenging business conditions and market dynamics, this model was not sustainable hence the companies resorted to purchasing off-the-shelf software solutions and deploying those on-premise for usage. This was similar to Ramu’s condition when he used to purchase the food ingredients in the village and cook in-house. However, businesses need to innovate and spend most of their time and resources on business critical aspects hence need to look out for optimizing their IT spend. Ramu’s condition when he used to buy food ingredients and use his friend’s kitchen is similar to the PaaS (Platform as a service model) in IT where the platform providers (his friend) offer various basic services (gas stove, cooking oil, spices etc.) along with the infrastructure which the enterprises can leverage. Ramu’s stage where he only used the spare room as a kitchen corresponds to IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model where the IT provider offers only the infrastructure. Ordering from a restaurant in our analogy corresponds to the SaaS (Software as a Service) model where the enterprises can consume entire software as a service!
Does it mean that one cloud offering model is better than the other and can they never co-exist? All the cloud models offers distinct advantages and are apt for certain business processes. A perfect IT landscape is a hybrid of all these models and can be designed by mapping business processes/functions against the best applicable cloud models for each. And yes, these can definitely co-exist. Imagine Ramu and his family having home-cooked food some days in a week, ordering their favorite international cuisine from a restaurant, going on a family picnic with their relatives where they decide to barbeque in a camp-fire setting on a mountain trek and cooking their traditional village cuisine in a master-chef competition platform!!!
Still wondering when to do what??? Ah, for that we have our expert consulting services!!!