One of my team members has a picture of a rural home that was in for an unlucky day as a funnel cloud heads toward it. The picture is captioned by “The Cloud, it is coming for your data.” Every time I see it, I crack up just a little. We are amidst of a Cloud revolution, and it will change the world as we know it. Web 2.0 is only the beginning.
The online services lead the way, the enterprise is just starting to look, but the software players are actively investing. The software giants’ move slower than the “web guys” but have deep pockets and are the real market makers. So, what am I talking about???
Well, Adobe announced it is moving some of its core software to the Cloud and will sell it as a SaaS product. Microsoft has commented that it will take a cautious strategy by playing both sides of the fence for a while supporting both boxed and cloud software versions. For now at least, Microsoft will keep boxed software and subscription Cloud-based software for a few years.
I don’t buy the Microsoft position. Adobe is leading now, and Microsoft will not be far behind. The SaaS opening makes so much sense for these companies. Let us consider a few wins that SaaS offers…
- Smoother revenue numbers with subscriptions – fewer peeks and valley’s
- Increased security as the SaaS providers will push updates to all Cloud-based clients
- Faster software release schedules as the Cloud offers lower logistic coordination and can provide faster user adoption
- The user base more easily migrates to current versions than with traditional software deployments
- and the BIG ONE: Lower Software Piracy because of the authentication process associated with subscription SaaS software is difficult to beat
Do not ignore that last item…I think Microsoft and the other leading software players have realized they address multiple of their customers’ problems with a SaaS model that they will move aggressively to it over the next couple of years. Microsoft is wrong, this will not take a decade to change the customer base to SaaS. It will take a couple of years to get the consumers (business and retail) to make the jump if they perform well. I am a Microsoft fan, and I want to see them take a more aggressive stance with their Software-as-a-Service offerings. I do hope they are successful in doing the transition quickly as it will be better for IT, developers, businesses, and the consumer public.
When chatting with a few associates about this topic, they expressed concern that they would not be able to use the software when they had no Internet connection. This will not be the case as we already are seeing application caching. Will you have 100% of the features “off-line?” No, you will not, but you will have the majority and all the core features commonly used. So I say, let’s take the jump. I see only upside with little downside risk to moving to a SaaS software model.
Call me crazy, but lets move forward and be inspired.