Friday, November 18, 2011

Enterprise Shared Services and the Cloud

I've worked in the area of Enterprise Shared Services (or Enterprise Utilities) for many years, so when InfoQ approached me asking if I would be interested in writing an article on cloud computing, this was one of the angles I thought of. Of course, I'm also working with WSO2 at present, and WSO2 has a distinct type of PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering called Stratos. LinkPaaS usually either evolves up from IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) with the addition of support for DevOps (the development-operations continuum) or evolves down from SaaS (Software as a Service) with the addition of customisation support for the software application. Stratos is unique because it has evolved "sideways" from enterprise middleware with the addition of cloud-native features. The 12 SOA products of WSO2 are all available as cloud-native middleware on the Stratos PaaS.

In any case, since InfoQ wanted vendor-neutral content, I couldn't write about Stratos (which I will write about in some context because I find it fascinating). So I fell back to my old favourite - Enterprise Shared Services.

The long and short of it is that when we factor in Enterprise Shared Services, the old monikers of SaaS and PaaS are no longer enough. We have to deal with "vertical" and "horizontal" variants of these, and the distinction is important because in an organisational context, they have unique characteristics around how they are requisitioned, evaluated for feasibility, funded and charged back.

I'll let you read about it here.

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