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By Jonathan Rosenberg, VP & CTO, Collaboration, Cisco
These days you cannot go more than 10 minutes without hearing the word ‘cloud’ in connection with any kind of IT technology and collaboration is no different. Collaboration SaaS services have been on the rise and 2016 is looking to be the real breakout year for offerings in this space. These range from conferencing solutions such as Cisco WebExwhich have been in the market for many years, to newer video services, such as Blue Jeans and WebEx CMR, to telephony solutions, such as 8x8 or Thinking phones. Larger players are entering these markets, along with consumer players like Google and Facebook who are bringing business versions of their consumer offerings to the table.This of course is introducing a choice for CIOs worldwide. As more services become available in the cloud –what deployment model should they follow –cloud, or prem?"Moving fast and upgrading all of the time is a hallmark of modern consumer software, and that speed of innovation is critical for CIOs in the modern digital era" To make this choice easier for CIOs, some vendors are following a route of offering a solution in both models. The typical mantra is cloud or prem your choice. Along with that is a promise of equivalent features in either the prem or the cloud deployment models, and typically some kind of easy way to move back and forth. In some sense, this sounds like a really good thing. It makes the choice purely one of consumption model and licensing framework. As a CIO, I can either invest in the operations staff to run it on prem and then pay a one-time license fee for the software. Or, I can pay a recurring license cost and effectively outsource the operations to the vendor. Either way -the features, functionality and capabilities are identical. But, is that really a good thing? In fact – it is not. When a service is available as both onprem or in the cloud with identical features, it means that the vendor is using the same exact underlying software for premise and cloud. As anyone will tell you, cloud technologies are actually quite different from premise. People building modern SaaS and cloud software build it completely differently than traditional premise software.