One might think that selling cloud apps is straightforward. Yes, you have all the Tech media advocating for Cloud IaaS, Paas and SaaS and all the fancy social media apps paving the way for an easy deal. But trying to sell a cloud crm or even a free project management app to old school CEOs is quite a challenge. These frozen in time old dogs are not interested in new fancy business models…and certainly you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
You always come to a point when you’re asked: “and why is this different from a web application?” So here it goes again…
Cloud applications are hosted in cloud providers and are accessed over the Internet. The Cloud app (SaaS) providers own the software while the customers “rent the app” in a pay per use model. Usually cloud apps are distinguished through the following characteristics:
- Is used through a web browser.
- Nothing needs to be installed locally.
- Supports multi-tenancy (allows multiple customers (tenants) to be aggregated into the same application).
- The pricing is based on actual usage.
At this point you make a pause take a sip of coffee and continue… “So to cut the long story short the differences are”:
- A web application is stored on a server and delivered through a browser interface while a cloud app has the data and the computations in a data center somewhere;
- A cloud application –as hosted in IaaS infrastructure – enjoys high availability (through mirrored installations in multiple locations), extra security and integration with other systems.
- A cloud application is built with scalability in mind. Cloud apps are built in such a way to handle any number of users or workloads. Nowadays cloud developers can easily configure their workload and traffic patterns in order to utilize the exact amount of infrastructure offered. Web applications are usually developed for a given platform and thus, offer limited scalability.
- Cloud applications are basically platforms that provide a set of specific services while Web apps are the services per se.
- Cloud applications can be installed on a public, private or hybrid cloud while Web apps can be installed on Internet or intranet and accessed there.
Here you make another pause, take another sip and conclude… “Basically, the main difference is the multi-tenancy advantage offered by Cloud apps, as in order to reach the same levels of elasticity and availability with web apps you should invest heavily on your infrastructures…”
Let money talk…
Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments