Monday, March 30, 2009

Understanding Cloud Computing: The Bottom Line for Publishers - Part 4

It is well understood that technology is complicated and expensive and that publishers increasingly rely on technology to achieve business goals; but few publishers would claim that technology is one of their core competencies. Publishers have traditionally been forced to choose between accepting the complexity and expense of operating an in-house fulfillment system and outsourcing fulfillment operations, and all supporting technology, to a full-service bureau.

Unfortunately, neither in-house nor full-service options allow publishers to fully take advantage of new technologies that could help them diversify channels and revenue generating activities. Operating an in-house fulfillment system requires a significant commitment of capital investment, operating expense, and specialized IT staff to manage ever-increasing complexity. Outsourcing to a typical full-service bureau just transfers the problem to another organization that is focused on fulfillment operations, rather than technology, giving the publisher no benefits but less control.

The advent of cloud computing, and specifically Software as a Service (SaaS), offers publishers an alternative to operating legacy, in-house fulfillment systems or outsourcing fulfillment operations to a legacy service bureau.

A leading-edge audience management solution should be:
  • Designed from the beginning to be delivered as a service
  • Be available either as a self-service application or through a full-service bureau
  • Offer application programming interfaces based on standards like SOAP
  • Be purely browser-based – nothin’ but net
Self-service or full-service, publishers can get the best of all worlds by taking advantage of SaaS audience management solutions: simplicity of operations, and control over systems and finances.

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