Head in the clouds? Calling a product a “cloud solution” doesn’t necessarily make it one.

For the last few years, “the cloud” has gotten tremendous buzz – and has seen enormous adoption. That adoption has come for a number of compelling reasons, cloud solutions don’t have the upfront costs that on-premise products do, no hardware to purchase, no big software licensing fee, no hidden administration costs. Once deployed, cloud-based software don’t have the ongoing maintenance costs associated with on-prem, either. Plus users have automatic access to new features as they come online. No waiting for the every-other-year mega release that causes you to shut down and perform a forklift upgrade. Integration, scalability, better support for mobile workers: the list of reasons why cloud is outpacing goes on.

For on-premise vendors, all the buzz and adoption is quite unsettling. With customers clamoring for cloud solutions, analysts and the media making the cloud their darling, this has pushed many vendors into panic mode. And, in their panic to get on the cloud bandwagon, they simply took their on-prem solution and hosted it, gave it a new “cloud” name, slapped on a new price tag and voila – “New cloud offering”.

What they’ve really got is their head in the clouds. What they’re calling a “cloud” solution is the same-old-same-old, hosted in their data center (or, as often as not, with a hosting provider or VAR who takes on management and support) rather than yours.

As I was thinking about this, I came across an interesting post by Adaptive Insights on precisely this problem. Anyone considering working with a software vendor that, seemingly overnight, introduced a “cloud” solution would do well to read Paul Turner’s Fake Cloud Vendors Are on a Catastrophic Course – and Their Customers Are Riding Shotgun. Among his insights:

No vendor has successfully turned an on-premise application into a real, multi-tenant, self-service cloud app, and scaled up to thousands of customers. Old applications are innately complex because they’re running on several code bases – Java, C++, client server, N-tier – each of which is decades old and never meant to run in a multi-tenant environment.

Multi-tenant, self-service, scale. Paul Turner has hit on a number of the key points that separate a true cloud-based application – like LogMeIn Rescue – from the ground-up. Others include ease of integration, ease and frequency of upgrades, a clean, browser-based interface.

Buyer beware! To capture all the benefits that the cloud offers, you’ll need to go with a solution that was built from the ground up for the cloud. There is a difference. Accept no substitutes!

Peter Zeinoun

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Peter is the Director of Products for the Rescue team.