Cloud Computing, SaaS, and Technology Outsourcing Q&A

February 3, 2010
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America

Abstract

Celent answers reader questions about cloud computing, SaaS, and technology outsourcing.

Celent has published two reports covering the financial services industry’s approach to modern technology outsourcing initiatives and presented a webinar on the topic. In a new report, Cloud Computing, SaaS, and Technology Outsourcing Q&A, Celent responds to questions from webinar attendees and from readers of the report to help clear up ambiguities in the space. The questions are:

  • Is SaaS a subset of cloud computing, and, if so, is it always part of a cloud computing solution?
  • Is an application that needs to be heavily customized inappropriate for SaaS?
  • For SaaS, is it more appropriate for products which can be used in a vanilla form without having to worry about customizations?
  • How do SaaS users deal with system version changes?
  • Does cloud computing have the ability to change the mainframe culture within many large insurers?
  • How can different SaaS providers differentiate themselves with respect to technology offerings?
  • Is it a good idea to have a cloud-based disaster recovery site rather than a second data center?
  • Is it a good idea to make your data center and disaster recovery site into an internal cloud?
  • How does multithreading apply to cloud computing?
  • How is cloud computing being used in the financial services industry?
  • How is SaaS being used in the financial services industry?
  • What are the legal aspects, licensing models, and data protection issues which make financial services institutions skeptical about adopting some of these operating models?

"There are multiple definitions of cloud computing being used by the industry, making it difficult for many people to understand how to apply the concepts to their business," says Jeff Goldberg, Senior Analyst with Celent's Insurance group and author of the report. "It's important for analysts to help define cloud computing and SaaS in the way that corporations are actually using the technologies."

“This report clears up some of the confusion by directly responding to reader queries,” he adds.

The report includes a summary of content from the reports Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, and Technology Outsourcing for Insurers, October 2009, and Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, and Technology Outsourcing for Banks, November 2009.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

The One Sentence Definitions

6

General Technology Questions

7

Question 1: Is SaaS a subset of cloud computing, and, if so, is it always part of a cloud computing solution?

7

Question 2: Is an application that needs to be heavily customized inappropriate for SaaS?

8

Question 3: For SaaS, is it more appropriate for products which can be used in a "vanilla" form without having to worry about customizations?

9

Question 4: How do SaaS users deal with system version changes?

10

Question 5: Does cloud computing have the ability to change the mainframe culture within many large insurers?

11

Question 6: How can different SaaS providers differentiate themselves with respect to technology offerings?

11

Question 7: Is it a good idea to have a cloud-based disaster recovery site rather than a second data center?

12

Question 8: Is it a good idea to make your data center and disaster recovery site into an internal cloud?

13

Question 9: How does multithreading apply to cloud computing?

14

Industry-Specific Questions

15

Question 10: How is cloud computing being used in the financial services industry?

15

Question 11: How is SaaS being used in the financial services industry?

16

Question 12: What are the legal aspects, licensing models, and data protection issues which make financial services institutions skeptical about adopting some of these operating models?

16

Leveraging Celent’s Expertise

18

Support for Financial Institutions

18

Support for Vendors

18

Related Celent Research

19

Sign in to download reports and access personalized information