Thursday, May 1, 2008

SaaS to PaaS and ultimately, the CLaaS (Clouds as a Service)

Just read that wonderful post from Kent at Production Scale about the '-aaS' clarifications. Let me offer my two-cents worth on the subject. You can skip the CLaaS, just thought it sounded uhm classy. Not.

We won't be going to historical details here with regards to dates. What I'm after is a confirmation regarding the natural progression of Software as a Service.

Simply put, Software as a service refers to a method of deployment wherein applications can be accessed via the web as opposed to the traditional model of software installation on your computer. Samples of which are the mail apps like Yahoo Mail and Gmail and best made into a web byword by the highly successful CRM apps company called Salesforce.

SaaS exposed, not only the need for a successful conglomeration of web apps to be made easily available via a single site and easily accessible by demand, but more importantly, that apps need to be more or less housed in a common platform.

Consider the benefits:

1. It gives users - both business and individual consumers, a common point of experience which equates to shorter learning curve resulting in faster adoption.

2. Developers tend to congregate using common expertise on programming languages. Nothing better than a platform to unite 'em all. And what good is SaaS if you don't have the apps to showcase?

3. A common platform allows companies who offer SaaS easier maintenance requirements. This translates to savings that can be passed on to both third party developers and ultimately to users.

It doesn't stop there. On demand apps and on demand platform can only reside in the web. And so comes the Cloud.

Surely there is still a lot of debate on the eventuality of the (few) Clouds ruling over the whole computing space. But business is business. And as long as SaaS, PaaS and Cloud players continue to offer very good deals (esp under threat of recession) leading to better revenue, the march towards increased business adoption will continue faster than pundits expected.