Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cracks in the Cloud

My head has been in the clouds today.

I’m not referring to a day off from work or even a brief mental break in the afternoon. In fact, I had to be sharp as I had three important meetings – with a client, with a long-standing relationship over lunch and then with a prospect with a world of potential.

It was during lunch that I had a fascinating discussion with a senior executive at an enterprise software developer about markets and functionality most appropriate for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. There has been a lot of debate within this person’s company about the viability of SaaS in their core market. Ultimately, they have decided to stick to a traditional server-side license model because of the critical nature of the data their software touches.

Fair enough…yet I argued that innovation in the software space now only truly occurs within SaaS companies because of the economic realities of today’s market. Two of Strategic Communications Group’s (Strategic) clients – GovDelivery and Avectra – are perfect examples of SaaS innovation.

I remain passionate about SaaS and hosted solutions as it allows a company to focus on its business (rather than the technology infrastructure), while better managing resources. However, I recognize the big fall down of SaaS is the availability of the cloud. No access to the Internet or the vendor’s system…no data or functionality.

I imagine Google’s application service customers were frustrated and helpless this morning.

Google's App Engine breaks down

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