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Cloud computing gives small and mid-sized businesses-even wineries-IT-enabled capabilities that they otherwise couldn't begin to afford. The trade-off with SaaS solutions for the mid-market, however, is that customers usually have to accept relatively generic implementations and a small number of providers for their specific industries, says IDC research analyst Ian Song. Customization costs can add up.
The balance between cost and customization can be tricky. But both the customer and service provider can change the equation by taking advantage of the same things that make cloud economics work in the first place, says Pat Oates, CEO of three-year-old start-up Wine Management Systems (WMS).
WMS is a SaaS provider whose applications are designed to track, automate and optimize the surprisingly technical and complex process of winemaking.
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