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Performance definitely should be seen as a greater priority to Cloud (and SaaS), since a poorly performing application has several negative knock-on effects to a business: studies show that a one second delay in web page load time decreases customer satisfaction by 16%, and more than a third of users go on to tell others about a bad experience using a website.
More cloud providers, or SaaS providers using cloud services, should consider Performance now, as end users are increasingly expecting good performance in applications and systems. We recently helped Janrain to assess the performance of their SaaS product: http://janrain.com/blog/when-evaluating-saas-partners-make-performance-assessment-a-priority/
2 years ago on The Cloud: Focusing On Cloud Performance – Part 1