If a clear definition of Saas and Cloud Computing is a little confusing, we liked this definition for its simplicity: “Software as a service (SaaS) is the application and the cloud is the place where you store the data from that app (and in most cases the application itself).” 1 There are more complex breakdowns, (Hybrid, Private, etc.) but not for today.
What’s The Point?
As our traditional computing methods fast-forward from hard-wired PC’s to digital, fully mobile devices, traditional unit-priced software and dedicated hardware becomes increasingly troublesome. We need immediate and shared access to critical information, and collaborative communication on the fly. In other words, we need dynamic, rather than static information distribution. Enter Cloud computing and Software as a Service: each is available anywhere at any time and can be rapidly updated digitally. When properly conceived and implemented, hardware and software cost reductions can be impressive. There are caveats, of course, but such is the case with technology in general.
For instance, According to Forrester research data, the SaaS segment will far exceed the revenue of the other areas. The analyst firm predicts SaaS total revenues to reach $21.2 billion in 2011 and more than quadruple to $92.8 billion by 2016. This is 26% of the entire packaged software market. However, Forrester predicts SaaS will reach a saturation point in five years, and growth will slow between 2016 and 2020.2
Further, Gartner Research feels PC’s out; cloud in by 2014.3 To clarify, not out, as in permanently out, but as business and consumer users aggregate digital devices, cloud based computing will increase dramatically. We believe these technologies will eventually mitigate some of the problems posed by incompatible operating systems. PC’s will continue to be a part of the picture, but as only one of many options.
There are lots of handy, if not impressive, boutique cloud offerings, serving niche needs for a variety of businesses, but we’ll just touch on a just a few of the major general offerings:
- Online Backup (Several)
- Google Apps
- Salesforce.com (Sales Cloud)
- WebEx online conferencing
- Go To Meeting
- PDF Escape
- Docusign (Contracts)
- Microsoft Office 365
In All, Does Your Business Need The “Cloud”?
There is no doubt, the cloud computing is going to be a part of your future, but one way to approach this technology is to leverage your existing legacy system without ditching your entire investment. It’s probably time to explore the shift from static, difficult to manage data processes, to dynamic, virtualized resources that are available on the fly.
If you feel, it’s time to take a look, or to better understand this technology; SiteVision offers VPS/Cloud Hosting, as well as integrating or developing SaaS solutions. You can call us anytime for additional information.