Well nothing like a confrontational title to stir up some interest. Thanks to Ben K and Bob for their comments.
As I stated, the “Is SaaS just Hype” post was deliberately provocative. I think (and I’m hoping the readers got there too) it did make people stand back and think about SaaS in a new light. I stand by my assertion that as cool as SaaS is, if it doesn’t deliver business value, if it isn’t a good solution to a business problem, SaaS will fail.
Business is business at the end of the day, if you offer no value, have no uniqueness, can’t articulate a real reason for the customer to buy your stuff, you will go under. (no matter how alarge you are. If you can stand it and get past the first 3 stumbling minutes, check out the scene setting in this webcast by Debra Covey teaching the elephant to dance)
In this respect, this is Darwinism is in action. Not the much represented statement of “only the strongest will survive”. But rather that “the survivors are those who can best adapt to change”. As Bob points out, SaaS is a disruptive change. But only to Software companies, not to the consumers of Software.
So, back to SaaS and hype. I do agree with Ben Kepe’s about SaaS being an “alignment of technologies.
– Uptake of broadband (dodgy as it is in NZ)
– The adoption of collaborative networking models
– The requirement by business that value needs to be added
– The mainstreaming of hosted services so that punters can understand the concepts "
But at the end of the day, these don’t really matter. And this is the point my mate Ben was trying to make. If you cannot make a difference to the customer, if you cannot articulate a good business reason for your customer to purchase your SaaS product it won’t matter how cool it is, which XML gadgets and widgets you plug into. That SaaS does provide benefits is real in some cases, but it like all technology brings its own technical challenges
Lets not forget, its all about the business. Technology is just the enabler.