IT leadership is facing a simple fact: the days of on-premise applications are quickly fading into the past. Think about the last time you installed software. The need for client-based applications will always be present, but for the most part, installing software on a server physically located where your business resides seems obsolete. Where did this software go?
At first, we came up with the generic term of “outsourcing.” If it wasn’t your organization’s core competency, then that meant somebody else could do it bigger, better and faster. Outsourcing quickly morphed into the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revolution. Businesses quickly realized that owning a software license and paying for annual maintenance wasn’t cost effective, especially when you had to hire a system administrator to run the application on expensive hardware that you also had to own and maintain. Software providers began hosting their applications on the Internet, providing access to businesses via a web browser. Where did these applications go?
For those organizations providing outsourced technology-based services, the costs of owning and maintaining IT Infrastructure for their on-demand businesses didn’t make a lot of financial sense. From this need in the market grew the popular IT Infrastructure outsourcing options that exist today: hosting and cloud. Whether it is shared, dedicated or managed hosting, businesses could now outsource the IT platform component of their service and instead focus on the application they were providing to the market. Eventually sharing computing power and storage resources spawned cloud offerings, where businesses could spin up environments on demand. Again though, where did all of this hardware go?
The answer is really quite simple. All of these assets are physically located at various colocation facilities. A recent Computerworld white paper talked about how advantageous it was for cloud providers to set up shop at colocation facilities. Whether it is for power availability, network connectivity, security or one of the several other advantages colocation provides, cloud, hosting and SaaS providers all gain the same benefit − it “enables them to focus on their customers, instead of infrastructure.”