Recently ZDNet blogger Phil Wainewright published a post entitled “Safe-deposit box SaaS” comparing the disadvantages shared between private SaaS instances and safe deposit boxes at any bank. While comical in nature, this comparison rings true, and Phil makes a number of valid points on the similarities between the two.

In the post, he lists out the numerous disadvantages of purchasing a safe deposit box rather than putting money into an account of some kind. The parallels to private cloud investments are pretty clear:

  • “It costs significantly more. Instead of paying the customer interest, the bank levies a steep charge.”
  • “The infrastructure is static. You get no benefit from upgrades to the general bank account infrastructure, such as enhanced online security, additional services and deposit guarantees.”
  • “It’s less convenient. To access your money and valuables, you have to physically visit the bank. There’s no electronic, on-demand access.”
  • “It’s at your risk. The bank leaves you in charge of controlling access to the safe-deposit box and arranging back-up and insurance in case of unauthorized access or theft.”

To reap the benefits of cloud technologies, we agree with Phil and believe public cloud is the only way to go. Yes, as he notes, there is a small percentage of deployments where private architecture may be the smarter choice, but by and large, the economies of scale that cloud technologies offer companies are only achieved when using a shared infrastructure.

A strategic IT infrastructure should be the foundation to not only simplify and secure how employees are accessing information and administrators managing it, but also deliver real value toward the business goals of any organization. If you deduce from Phil’s reasoning above, it’s the ability for public cloud to show faster ROI, lower TCO and provide unmatched scalability and innovation that private cloud just can’t compete with – and it’s exactly these reasons that why the most successful of companies look to public cloud to drive their businesses. That’s the bottom line as we see it – no pun intended.

We believe that ‘Cloud First’ drives better business and better economies. On second thought, maybe we should amend that to read ‘Public Cloud First’?