Who Will Set the High Standard for “the Cloud?”

Lately there has been a lot of talk about how the consumer web has set a great standard for usability, robust features and reliability that needs to be replicated in the business world.

OK, but what does that say when a property like Gmail – which people tend to associate with a sort of high standard of SaaS or Cloud offerings – goes down? Dan Farber wrote a nice piece on unreliability in his blog yesterday.

While many agree SaaS is here to stay, with the older multi-tenant models, there is still a lot of unreliability when it comes to universal failures. Reliability in the consumer world is one thing, but when it comes to the business world, people using missionc ritical applications can not log on in the morning to find something like this:

But as we know, downtimes are a part of any IT environment – SaaS or other types.

We are getting better as business application providers. Those firms lucky enough to build their infrastructures on more scalable, highly available components will provide higher uptimes – and with more dedicated and multi-instance models, will see few universal outages like the older monolithic SaaS providers.

I’m not sure who will set the consistent gold standard in the nascent “Cloud community” (did I make up yet another useless term?) but the fact is, the initial visionaries cannot continue to meet demand and provide high service levels with outdated architectures.