I really like these two articles about the SaaS market and how it appears to embracing appliances as a ‘new form of delivery’. To me this isn’t that new, its also completely obvious ( i was kicking myself for not having thought of it).
Why obvious? Well i think that all in all the customers of technology have a range of requirements, that is they aren’t that black and white. That is different needs. Ok sounds good so far.
Unfortunately, most IT professionals are very black and white. That too makes sense, as ambiguity usually leads to problems. To that end most of us subscribe wholly to one technology belief. SaaS, On-premise, SAP, .net. Windows, Linux etc etc etc you get the idea.
In fact for most people, their IT belief is like religion. Singular, and not overly tolerant of others (just my general observation).
Brining this back SaaS and the appliance. Most SaaS exponents a zealots for that particular mode of delivery, that works for some. This is critical, this kind of belief and passion are the only ways to shift the world.
Unfortunately there are others (the on-premise lot) who will never take SaaS due to various concerns like security and control. BUT the honest amongst this group will admit that some aspects of SaaS are highly attractive, like updates etc.
Enter the appliance. If done properly its is the perfect hybrid of both approaches. Surely this will have mass appeal? Well, in my opinion no. It will just appeal to another segment of the market who’s needs (their particular religion) mean that it’s a good fit.
If i’ve written this properly, you should by now have had a bit of déjà vu. That’s because this is just another example of history repeating itself in the IT industry. Bureau versus distributed desktop. Mainframe desktop (o and then you had the work group server = the appliance). Centralised back up, distributed back up, the onsite backup…. For this reason, the appliance play in SaaS should’ve been blindingly obvious …doh!