We have a lot in common with modern computing technologies, most notably that we’ll both end up “shutting down” at some point. Even the best technologies, trends and frameworks come and go. A good example of this is the transformation of centralised computing in the form of mainframes to the distributed computing network that now powers the web. I am reluctant to call it cloud computing as this buzzword is overused and is simply a new term for “computers connected together.”
The transformation of traditional “software” to “software as a service” is good example of the evolution of technologies. I’ve been thinking recently about whether it actually matters? If the software solves the business challenges, does it really matter if it’s hosted on or off site?
I am a firm believer that products delivered as a service and traditional installed software can live in harmony for at least the next 5 years. Think about it at a consumer level. Whether I sign up for a Sky HD account, or order an e-mail address, the delivery method doesn’t really matter to me. I’m concerned about the service itself, and not the infrastructure.
The exact same applies to SAAS products. Most services offer high hardware and network guarantees. This is essential for companies using the system to run their day-to-day business operations.
As technological capability increases, companies increasingly expecect solutions “right now.” This is where the SAAS model can deliver several crucial benefits with its agile approach.
The example above focuses on improving the return on investment and less on the actual technology itself. Although SAAS is just another way to deliver solution to a problem, when deployed properly, it’s agile and extensible and completely relavant for a large proportion of industries.