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The Building Blocks of a Cloud Strategy: Evidence from Three SaaS Providers

The Building Blocks of a Cloud Strategy, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

Cloud computing refers to an on-demand network service that allows individual users or businesses to access configurable resources. It can also be defined as an on-demand delivery model enabling the synchronized delivery of computing resources (such as applications, storage, servers, networks, and services).2 As it stands, there are three cloud computing delivery models: software as a service (SaaS), as in and Google apps, delivering applications to end users over a network; platform as a service (PaaS), as in the Google app engine and Microsoft Azure, deploying applications to a cloud; and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), as in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, renting storage, processing, and network capacity to host applications. Of the three, the SaaS model has gained the most momentum, given its economically efficient foundations and ability to satisfy user preferences for the ubiquitous availability of data and applications.1

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From the perspective of application software providers, the SaaS model offers the obvious benefit of liberating them from the traditional low-level tasks involved in setting up IT infrastructures and deploying applications to client machines.4 Providers are thus able to scale their investment with a view to growing their businesses,9 focusing on innovation and creating business value.7 Accordingly, cloud computing has been associated with other benefits that arise from offering a controlled interface, a virtual business environment, increased addressability and traceability, and rapid elasticity and scalability.5


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