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What to ask before you do Cloud Computing?

1. Have You Prevented Against "Sticker Shock" Down the Road?

One of SaaS's biggest selling points is its simplified pricing model: those pay-as-you-go, per-user monthly fees. The term "flat" usually stars in a SaaS vendor's marketing materials.

However, companies are still confused by uncertainties in pricing models and contract agreements, note Forrester analysts William Band and Peter Marston in the May 2008 "Best Practices: The Smart Way To Implement CRM" report. (For more on rolling out SaaS CRM, see "Five Best Practices for Implementing SaaS CRM.")

"SaaS pricing models that seem simple and inexpensive (flat per-user monthly fees) can become costly and complex when users sign up for different pieces of functionality and support options," the analysts write. "Additional charges often apply for support, configuration services, additional functionality or going beyond a preset storage limit."

In addition, business users and IT staffers can also be "unpleasantly surprised by difficult-to-enforce service-level agreements or onerous provisions that kick-in at the end of the contract term," Band and Marston note.

2. Has IT Been Included in the Decision-Making Process?

It almost seems apocryphal that IT staffers wouldn't be included at all in today's SaaS decision-making processes. But the reality is that business stakeholders have become quite adept at navigating the software purchasing world: they know what they want and SaaS vendors oftentimes go straight for the business side to sell their wares.

"SaaS makes it easy for firms to roll out solutions quickly and without IT involvement," notes an April 2008 Forrester report, "SaaS Clients Face Growing Complexity."

There's a downside, however, to the business side's new freedom. "This can also mean that firms rush into their deployment, using the point-and-click wizards to configure the solution without having a long-term vision or specific road map in place," write Forrester analysts Liz Herbert and Bill Martorelli.


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Whale Fall
-----------------

Dress me up in my new threads
clasp my greasy palms
grease my hair
I'm ready for the fall


Watch at all the decadence
watching the avalanche
I'm slipping down
losing my buoyancy


What's become of us
where have we come
this far, this close
close to the doors


I hear them, sublimal chants
I'm on the run
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I am the king!


I'm the slave
to my own undoings
I'm the jester in my courtyard
We jest as we run


We're strolling on that thin rope
we grope as we rope
we're true heros
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we're the scavengers
we're the friends
we're the lovers
we're the unbred


Soon awaiting the fall
we're lurking on us
we're osedaxing us
we're soon going to be done
we'll soon be arrested




*osedax(bone devourer, newly discovered marine genus) feeds on a fallen(sunken) whale carcass(which is also called a whale fall). Read more here