Cloud washing or how to recognise false ones

Building cloud applications

Cloud washing or how to recognise true cloud applications from false ones

In their search for growth, many organisations want to use the cloud as an innovation acceleration agent thanks to the flexibility provided by this technology: rapid deployment, lighter IT infrastructure investment, etc.

In response to this strong demand, software providers often add the term “cloud” to their software and services to make them look new at a low cost. This is what is known as cloud washing.

How to distinguish between real and false clouds and what are the limitations of the false cloud?

What are the characteristics of a true cloud application?

By placing the word cloud next to the name of their application and by offering SaaS delivery mode, many vendors of dated Corporate Performance Management applications create confusion in users by leading them to believe that they will be receiving the benefits of a modern application.

However, in the end, the risk with an application which is not designed from the bottom up for the cloud is that the client ends up with a lower-quality solution which doesn’t meet the challenges (agility, instantaneous deployment, rapid return on investment, etc.) they will encounter in the near future. And there is the additional risk of having to change applications again in the near to medium term.

How can this situation be avoided?

Here are the keys to differentiating between true cloud and cloud-washed applications:

Cloud application - a definition

It’s the architecture of an application that makes it a cloud application or not.

The architecture of a cloud application enables the following, natively:

  • optimal use of resource sharing and scalability
  • direct and full access to all functionality from a web-browser, whatever the device.

Benefits and value of a true cloud application:

FeatureBenefit of a true cloud applicationDifferentiationValue
Delivery modeDelivery is plain and easy: it can be SaaS or on-premise alike, depending on client preferences and habitsA true cloud application can be directly supplied as a SaaS, with no fuss: unlike “false cloud” applications, it won’t require any virtual machines (which means additional costs and set-up delays).
For customers who prefer an on-premise deployment, no worries, a true cloud application will also be the best choice as the set-up is quick and easy: it only requires downloading a “clean” software brick on the server.
Accommodates the client’s habits and wishes at a lower technical and set-up cost, quickly. You can save up to 4 to 5 days in the set-up process.
Web accessYou access all functions, without the need for additional plug-in applications.
Full portability.
Direct and full access to the cloud application, with whatever device is connected to the internet.Lowers usage costs, and offers direct & full access from any mobile device.
Data processing capacity, data storage capacity, bandwidth, etc.You leverage shared resources and benefit from instant load increase / decrease capacity, as your needs increase or decrease.With a false cloud application, it may take a few days from the moment you need additional capacity to its delivery.Guarantees agility and optimised use of resources.
Consumption measurement and pay-per-use principleResources made available match your needs. You only pay for what you use.With a false cloud application: to anticipate possible increases in capacity needs, you may order oversize capacity “just in case” and thus pay for useless capacity.Saves money and resources.

Choose a native cloud application and get a head start

Using a native cloud application enables you to get a head start in terms of:

  • Responsiveness: the addition of new users, increased capacity, etc. are virtually instantaneous.
  • Process automation: advanced integration with your work environment: data from the ERP system present in the cloud (Dynamics 365 for example) are automatically integrated in Sigma Conso with no human intervention via optimised connections between machines on the cloud, regardless of their physical location. Likewise, your dashboards developed in the cloud can be fluidly based on Sigma Conso data.
  • Return on investment: rapidly deployed and immediately operational, cloud applications provide you with quick return on investment and reduce the technology debt of your group.
  • Upgrades: applications are updated on a regular basis with no local technical intervention.

Are you ready for the future? Choose an innovative application based on the latest technology to manage the performance of your group.

Related article: Your financial consolidation software: SaaS, PaaS, Cloud or On-premise? How to make the right choice?