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Five Attributes of Enterprise Cloud Applications

Five Attributes of Enterprise Cloud Applications

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Published by Krish
In this position paper, we define the five core attributes of a modern enterprise cloud application which includes Simplicity, Cloud Scale Architecture, Open APIs, Mobile Platform Support and Social Awareness. We expect this definition to help organizations differentiate between a true cloud application from a cloud-washed application. Such an understanding will help enterprises to fully take advantage of the core benefits offered by the modern cloud applications. This position paper could also serve as a blueprint for enterprise software vendors as they prepare for a world with increased cloud usage.
In this position paper, we define the five core attributes of a modern enterprise cloud application which includes Simplicity, Cloud Scale Architecture, Open APIs, Mobile Platform Support and Social Awareness. We expect this definition to help organizations differentiate between a true cloud application from a cloud-washed application. Such an understanding will help enterprises to fully take advantage of the core benefits offered by the modern cloud applications. This position paper could also serve as a blueprint for enterprise software vendors as they prepare for a world with increased cloud usage.

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Published by: Krish on Jan 16, 2012
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FiveAttributesOfEnterpriseCloud Applications
Abstract:
Inthispositionpaper,wedefinethefivecoreattributesofamodernenterprisecloudapplications,whichincludesSimplicity,CloudScaleArchitecture,OpenAPIs,MobilePlatformSupportandSocialAwareness.Weexpectthisdefinitiontohelporganizationsdifferentiatebetweentruecloudapplicationsfromacloud-washedapplications.Suchanunderstandingwillhelpenterprisestofullytakeadvantageofthecorebenefitsofferedbythemoderncloudapplications.Thispositionpapercouldalsoserveasablueprintforenterprisesoftwarevendorsastheyprepareforaworldwithincreasedcloudusage.
KrishnanSubramanianAnalyst,Krishworld.com
 
Copyright©KrishnanSubramanian@Krishworld.com
Introduction
Asmoreandmoreenterprisesembracecloudcomputinginabigway,thereisanaturaltendencyamongthevendorstocloud-washtheirapplicationsandclaimcloudcredentials.Essentially,someofthevendorsarere-purposingtheirexistingproductsandofferitasaservicebyusuallyhostingitoncloudinfrastructure.Eventhoughtherecouldsomeadvantageswiththiskindofapplicationdelivery,organizationscannotrecognizethefullpotentialofrealcloudapplications.Asenterprisecloudadoptionincreases,weareseeingincreasingnumberofcompaniesthatareeithercloudwashingormarketingtheirapplicationsfalselyascloudapplications.Suchtacticsnotonlyresultsinwastedexpenditureintoday’stighteconomy,itcouldalsoincreasethecomplexityleadingtodecreasedefficiency.Inthispositionpaper,wearetryingtohelporganizationswadethroughcloud-washedmarketingpitchesbyputtingforwardfivecoreattributesforanymodernenterprisecloudapplication.Noteverycloudapplicationwillhaveallthefiveattributesperfectlyimplementedbutitisimportantthattheyeithertrytoincorporatetheseattributesatvaryinglevelsorpubliclyhaveitontheirfutureroadmap.Wehopethatthispositionpaperwillhelporganizationsidentifytherealcloudapplicationsthatcouldaddvaluetotheircorebusiness.
WhyEnterpriseCloudApplications?
Beforewedefinethecoreattributesofamoderndayenterprisecloudapplication,wewouldliketoofferourthoughtsontheadvantagesofferedbycloudapplicationsfromourperspective.Thisclarificationcould,inturn,helpreadersappreciatethecoreattributesdefinedinthispositionpaper.Eventhoughthecostadvantageofferedbycloudapplicationsisprojectedasoneofthecoreadvantage,itmaynotbethecaseforeveryorganizationoreveryscenario.Costisdefinitelyanadvantageinmanycasesbutitmaynotbethecaseinsomeothers.Evenifcostisnotanadvantageforthecloudapplicationconsideredbyanorganization,westronglyrecommendthemtogoforwardwithcloudapplicationsbecauseofotherimportantadvantagesoutlinedbelow.Moreover,thereisnoguaranteethatthesubscriptioncostforaparticularapplicationwillstaylowforever.Marketdynamicsmighthelpthevendortoincreasethepricingatalaterstage.Fromourperspective,cloudapplicationshaveveryimportantadvantagesintermsofagility,increasedproductivityandtheabilitytopursueneweropportunitiesthatwerenotavailablewiththetraditionalsetup.Theelasticity,collaborativeDNAinthecloudandthemeteredbillingareresponsiblefortheincreasedagility,productivityandopeningupofneweropportunitiesthatareofferedbyenterprisecloudapplications.Weconsidertheseadvantagestobemoreimportantforanorganizationthananycostsavingsthatonemayincur.
CoreAttributesOfEnterpriseCloudApplications
Inthissection,wewilldefinethecoreattributesofmoderndayenterprisecloudapplications.Theseapplicationsareusuallymulti-tenant,canscaleupanddowntomeetthedemandandarebilledbased
 
Copyright©KrishnanSubramanian@Krishworld.com
onusage.Suchapplicationswillhavesomecoreattributesthatarenecessarytomeetthedemandsofmoderndayorganizationscompetingintheglobalmarketplace.WedefinethefollowingfiveattributesasnecessaryforanapplicationtobeclassifiedasanEnterpriseCloudApplication:
 
Simplicity
 
CloudScaleArchitecture
 
OpenAPIs
 
MobilePlatformSupport
 
SocialAwarenessThefollowingsectionsoffersamoredetailedlookateachattributelistedabovewithsomeexamplesfromthecurrentmarket.
Simplicity
Thisisaveryimportantattributeintoday’senterpriseapplicationsbecausetheuserbehaviorregardinghowapplicationsareconsumedhaschangeddrastically.MainlyduetotheconsumerizationofIT,theapplicationconsumptionpatternhaschangedfrommonolithicbloateddesktopappswithallthebellsandwhistlestoconsumptionofapplicationfeaturesfrommultipledevicesandevenfrommultipleapplications.Inshort,moderndayapplicationsserveadualpurposeofbothanapplicationfordirectconsumption(mostlythroughbrowsersormobileapps)andaplatformforconsumptionthroughAPIs.Thischangeintheconsumptionpatternrequiresapplicationstobesimplewiththefunctionalityexposedtoensureseamlessuserexperience.Anymodernenterpriseapplicationshouldfocusonuserexperiencethanbellsandwhistles.Inordertodothattheapplicationshouldbesimpleandfast.Anycomplexitywillbeabigturnofftousersinthenewconsumptionera.AgoodexamplehighlightingthisattributeisGoogleAppsthatoffersseamlessuserexperienceacrossmanydifferentdevicesbothasanativeappandonbrowser.Ifanyapplicationvendorwanttoattractmindshareamongtoday’susers,itisimportantthattheyensuresimplicityintheirapplications.
CloudScaleArchitecture
Moderncloudapplicationshaveacompletelydifferentarchitecturefromthetraditionalapplications,whicharemoresuitableforscalingup.Cloudapplicationarearchitectedtotakeadvantageoftheunderlyinglowcostdistributedinfrastructure.Suchaninfrastructureallowsapplicationstoprogrammaticallytakeadvantageofdynamicscalingusingascaleoutapproach,tomeettherapidscalingneedsofamulti-tenantenvironment.Ontheotherhand,italsoinvolvesdesigningtheapplicationforhardwarefailures.

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