Saturday, November 03, 2007
Software on tap: SaaS and ASP are really not the same
I launched MS Word today, it's 24 years old! Don't you have enough? Don't you think time has come for a new software paradigm. Do you like Word? What do you do in e-mail then? This industry has come to a conclusion that software could very well migrate to it's editor servers. It started with hosting, then ASP, and now SaaS (also called on demand applications) is coming around.
Conventional wisdom has coined it at the same thing but it's not. But an ASP delivers your monolithic application at distance, that's all it does. Those who believe ASP and SaaS are the same thing have just missed the Web 2.0 paradigm shift where the web has become an application platform. In fact "application" is not a proper term, where as "application services" better describes what is happening. You probably know Facebook by now. If you don't go ahead and build your friend community there. As I recently stated, one of the major success factor of facebook lies in its application platform strategy. The beauty of it is that users are defining a unique user interface to THEIR facebook by adding application to their home page. Customization, as we know it, is king. Gone the days when software vendors would define frozen user interfaces e.g. MS Word.
But this new way of combining small applications, or widgets, into a dedicated user customized portal has reached the enterprise. Yes! Enterprise mashups are coming up. Do you know Longjump? You don't, then just go there for a test drive. It speaks for itself far better than a long post of mine.
This is the destination: mixable enterprise widgets or applets on tap. You pay as you drink it. Software is a service, isn't it?
Bye bye MS Word and all the monolithic applications, whether on your PC, your servers or with your ASP. Time has come for SaaS to thrive.