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Old 24.07.2011, 18:38
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Running it "in the cloud"

Hi fellow entrepreneurs. We are working on a SaaS product for the Swiss marketplace that can be hosted either traditionally or in the cloud such as Azure or EC2. In the US these days everything is about the cloud and it is heavily marketed. I know it is a part of the latest technology craze but I have not seen many cloud-based systems being marketed in Switzerland.

We were wondering what is the general perception of the cloud-based technologies in Switzerland and how do company execs feel about it. Are they still under the impression that their data is less secure than hosted services and do they worry about the data travelling outside the Swiss borders?

Thank you for all your responses.
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Old 24.07.2011, 18:52
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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Hi fellow entrepreneurs. We are working on a SaaS product for the Swiss marketplace that can be hosted either traditionally or in the cloud such as Azure or EC2. In the US these days everything is about the cloud and it is heavily marketed. I know it is a part of the latest technology craze but I have not seen many cloud-based systems being marketed in Switzerland.

We were wondering what is the general perception of the cloud-based technologies in Switzerland and how do company execs feel about it. Are they still under the impression that their data is less secure than hosted services and do they worry about the data travelling outside the Swiss borders?

Thank you for all your responses.
First you start off with "SaaS", then you end with "Data". I assume , as you quote Azure and EC2 that you mean Software, and not Storage (S3 / ADS) as a service.

Software and Storage/Data are two different things, running an Excel App or Business App from the cloud is completely different to storing Data in the cloud.

Secondly, "Clouds" do not have to be internet based, but can remain within the Enterprise and thus Intranet based. Firmly secured by the owners of the data.

Thirdly, your data is far less secure in the cloud if hosted externally. You are subject to data lines being intercepted, poorly paid 3rd party individuals selling data on and at the end of a day, hosting your data with a 3rd party that couldn't give a damm if something went wrong, and are only exposed as far as the contract with the customer goes, which invariably is filled with catch all get-outs and "at your own risk" clauses.



I know of many Cloud based projects in Switzerland.
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Old 24.07.2011, 18:55
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

I know of 3 enterprise 'cloud'* platforms being used in Basel based multinationals....

*In the terms various forms.

But please market away.

CK
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Old 24.07.2011, 22:48
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

I think it is starting to pick up but slowly.
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Old 26.07.2011, 05:23
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

Thank you for the insight. I should have been more clear that my question referred to the public cloud and not enterprise solutions such as the Oracle one.

I am having a hard time thinking of a public cloud service or application that does not store data in the cloud as well, at least temporarily. Even Office 365 only allows editing od documents that are stored in SharePoint Online (Office 365). The best comparison I can make to our solution in terms of architecture would be Salesforce.com or Dynamics CRM 2011 Online. Both the service and the data are cloud hosted. I wonder if Switzerland is ready to adopt those solutions considering great concerns over privacy and data custody.
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Old 26.07.2011, 06:05
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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Thank you for the insight. I should have been more clear that my question referred to the public cloud and not enterprise solutions such as the Oracle one.

I am having a hard time thinking of a public cloud service or application that does not store data in the cloud as well, at least temporarily. Even Office 365 only allows editing od documents that are stored in SharePoint Online (Office 365). The best comparison I can make to our solution in terms of architecture would be Salesforce.com or Dynamics CRM 2011 Online. Both the service and the data are cloud hosted. I wonder if Switzerland is ready to adopt those solutions considering great concerns over privacy and data custody.
So you mean 'hosted service' which is all cloud is and has been round for years. Good luck with your software, if you stick the word cloud in front of anything today you'll make millions probably. But all cloud is is a combination of virtualisation, resource pooling and (sometimes) self service provisioning. The way its marketed you'd think it was the answer to all the worlds ills, honestly.
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Old 26.07.2011, 06:25
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

I would suggest looking at organisations like http://www.meta10.com/ who have significant offerings that are in some cases considered to be way ahead of the rest of the competition around the world.
Personally, I think having a "cloud" offering means nothing except that it is much easier for the competition to play catch-up and that you need to be quick to market with SaaS that really makes sense in meeting a business need.
SaaS means for me that we will see a slow increase in the quality of software as enterprises see that they don't need to be trapped into poor product and gain the experience and ability to build their own composite applications from SaaS offerings. The ESB is moving outside of the enterprise now.
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Old 26.07.2011, 06:29
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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I am having a hard time thinking of a public cloud service or application that does not store data in the cloud as well, at least temporarily.
There are quite a few. Adobe have one for graphics. There are loads for conversion of file formats and I can think of others. I would imagine for public users, quite often the cloud providers can provide a more secure solution than they can themselves....I would look for instance at Windows Live Mesh as an example of a hybrid solution as well.
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Old 26.07.2011, 06:30
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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Thank you for the insight. I should have been more clear that my question referred to the public cloud and not enterprise solutions such as the Oracle one.

I am having a hard time thinking of a public cloud service or application that does not store data in the cloud as well, at least temporarily. Even Office 365 only allows editing od documents that are stored in SharePoint Online (Office 365). The best comparison I can make to our solution in terms of architecture would be Salesforce.com or Dynamics CRM 2011 Online. Both the service and the data are cloud hosted. I wonder if Switzerland is ready to adopt those solutions considering great concerns over privacy and data custody.
Ok my above cloud bitterness aside (!) to give you a view on it's success, what size of business are you targeting at ? Large enterprises are piloting 'cloud' like anywhere else, small business is an easier target as they can fully remove on site IT.

As mentioned Swiss data has to stay within it's Borders, you'd need to check the exact legislation.

Also it's switzerland, things happen slowly here....
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Old 26.07.2011, 06:39
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

The data privacy concerns you mention are certainly in the minds of my customers. As you stated, certain types of information can't leave the country except to safe harbor countries, and some data can't even be sent to those (ie PII relating to legal entities) without explicit consent and so on and so forth.

Obviously, cloud resources are typically spread around the world. This makes legal compliance in the cloud difficult at best.

Those of my clients who are expirementing with the cloud at the moment are typically doing so with non-core systems or with data and systems that originated outside CH. It's not that it can't be done, but rather that they don't know what data they have, where it resides, whether it's PII, etc, so they're taking baby steps.

Hope that helps!
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Old 26.07.2011, 07:12
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

I fully agree that the future lies in the cloud, however, as previous posters already mentioned, data privacy is a key concern.

The recent debate about relevance of the US Patriot Act for EU-based cloud data should give you a good idea of how enterprise clients feel about cloud services provided by US companies.
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Old 26.07.2011, 12:10
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

This is a valid point. I am not sure there are many others out there but I particularly don't like to business with American based or UK based companies for exactly these types of reasons. I just don't trust the governments very much anymore.
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Old 26.07.2011, 12:54
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

well the Swiss will always let others try and find out first whether something new on the planet will be working or not
and will then decide whether yes or no they'll jump on the wagon.


We soon will have, at least one programme at the reception, running on a cloud environment and that'll be the security badge system.
But then this is an American company so no surprise there. Theyre all the time updating updating updating
whatever there is to update to run on the latest popular technology available out there.

Quite fun actually.
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Old 26.07.2011, 13:17
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

To me cloud computing = minimized costs as you optimize the usage of servers, mutualize power & cooling management, share sys. admins (more machines per sys.admin).

Biggest risk perception in Switzerland is related to privacy/security. If data are hosted in CH then it's under swiss privacy law. If it's in the US then it's under the more "relaxed" US privacy law. I've seen many initiatives in large swiss companies & MNC. It's definitely a hot topic also in CH with existing offerings.
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Old 26.07.2011, 13:39
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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To me cloud computing = minimized costs as you optimize the usage of servers, mutualize power & cooling management, share sys. admins (more machines per sys.admin).

Biggest risk perception in Switzerland is related to privacy/security. If data are hosted in CH then it's under swiss privacy law. If it's in the US then it's under the more "relaxed" US privacy law. I've seen many initiatives in large swiss companies & MNC. It's definitely a hot topic also in CH with existing offerings.
There is a local upside to this...

Globals need Cloud Computing, the costs benefits are huge. So where does your cloud go that satisfies Swiss Law ? Switzerland. All those Globals with Swiss Data will have clouds in Switzerland. Public clouds such as Amazon will be limited to the SOHO market, offering virtualised web servers and small compute platforms and similar small storage provisioning. This market is huge, but will be more Cirrus than Cumulo Nimbus. The relative big users of computing (Banks/Finance) will have to gear up with a Swiss Cloud.

Given the recent experiences with MS and Google, I will only maintain a cloud presence for client side encrypted copies, as a backup. I will never go live on a cloud.

Last edited by Upthehatters2008; 26.07.2011 at 14:07.
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Old 27.07.2011, 13:32
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

With the USD/EUR vs CHF exchange rate are datacenters/cloud servers really still attractive in Switzerland?
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Old 27.07.2011, 13:44
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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I know it is a part of the latest technology craze but I have not seen many cloud-based systems being marketed in Switzerland.
I think Switzerland is a bit technologically impaired. e.g. In the US I could do everything on line, from applying for a loan and getting an instant answer, to ordering a pizza, shopping online and having it delivered to my door, to paying my monthly bills.

Here though, I'm lucky to find a website for the business I am looking for, and if I shop online I have to go and pick it up from the post office, which has at times required the use of a handtruck. One good thing is, though, that I can pay my bills through my bank with the orange and red account slips.
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Old 27.07.2011, 13:50
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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I think Switzerland is a bit technologically impaired. e.g. In the US I could do everything on line, from applying for a loan and getting an instant answer, to ordering a pizza, shopping online and having it delivered to my door, to paying my monthly bills.

(...).
how serious are the loans provided through this channel? To avoid subprime mortgage crisis it's good to be strict on providing loans.
I think at some point swiss people prefer to have a human contact with somebody for advice, trust etc....
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Old 27.07.2011, 14:02
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Re: Running it "in the cloud"

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how serious are the loans provided through this channel? To avoid subprime mortgage crisis it's good to be strict on providing loans.
I think at some point swiss people prefer to have a human contact with somebody for advice, trust etc....
True. And there's definitely a positive to it.

But when you can apply online it's 24/7 access, versus in Switzerland where you have to make an appointment and take time off from work just to get an answer because they aren't open past 18:30 or on weekends.

Not that I personally care anymore. But it's a difference worth pointing out in a discussion about how technology is being utilized.
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