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Clarifying the Acronyms – SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

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CloudU Notebooks is a weekly blog series that explores topics from the CloudU certificate program in bite sized chunks, written by me, Ben Kepes, curator of CloudU. How-to’s, interviews with industry giants, and the occasional opinion piece are what you can expect to find. If that’s your cup of tea, you can subscribe here.

Anyone who has been around tech for a while will know that there are a million and one different acronyms. While there are legitimate names for all of these (honestly, it’s much easier to say “ISDN” rather than “Integrated Services Digital Network”) it makes life hard sometimes for folks outside the industry. Sometimes that difficulty is justified (hey, it saves us having to spend hours talking about stuff in longform) but sometimes it seems to me that those acronyms are our way of creating a bit of a silo. Sometimes in the industry it feels like we’re so excited about our technology that we want to create these barriers to real folks understanding this stuff.

My passion is articulating this technology stuff in ways that Moms and Pops can understand – my thesis being that tech, and especially Cloud, is an insanely valuable function and that if acronyms get in the ways of folks actually seeing and being able to use that value… well that’s really unfortunate. So when I started working on the CloudU certificate, it was obvious pretty quickly that we needed some material to clarify the three big acronyms that relate to the Cloud – SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

While a pretty simple concept to those who have been around this for awhile, it struck me that it’s a little like rocket science to those to whom Cloud is new – so we decided to make another CloudU video explaining the three concepts. The previous CloudU video that we made has really gone down a treat – folks relate really well to the format, the cool animations (and, I suspect the Kiwi accent!). I’m really excited about this series of videos being awesome visual introductions and summaries of the different CloudU lessons, the fact is that some folks relate best to a lecture, some to a workbook and some to a fun video – our aim is to meet everyone’s individual needs. So if you have an idea about how we could best take this content and get it out to people, don’t be shy.

Anyway – here it is, hot off the press the latest CloudU explanatory video. It was fun to make and hopefully it helps create some clarity for folks – you can check it out here.

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About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Ben Kepes.

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

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2 Comments

Nice explanation Ben! Just what I need to share with a couple of non technical teams internally :-)

BTW – was that a Prezi in the background for the visuals?

avatar Abbas Haider Ali on March 21, 2012 | Reply

Hey Abbas – no, not a prezi but a series of hand drawn animations!

avatar Ben Kepes [Racker] on March 21, 2012

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