Information Week recently released an excellent Special Report on Software as a Service (SaaS). A poll of 374 business technology professionals showed that 50% of organizations are considering or running one or more enterprise applications over the Internet as a service. I actually participated in the survey and you can probably guess which quote is mine in the “Our Readers Weigh In” section of the article.
The analysis goes on to conclude that SaaS is maturing and becoming part of enterprise IT strategy. The recommendation is that “SaaS should be looked at as just one more delivery method that may or may not fit your specific organization’s need.” How true!
If you take the standpoint of an individual client system, services can be delivered to it in an increasing number of ways. The service can come from the Internet cloud or from within the Enterprise. The application processing can take place on the client or be hosted on a server somewhere. It might run within a virtual machine or natively within an OS. The client GUI might be installed locally or streamed or hosted with a web interface. The service could be mashed up or self contained. With all of these evolving service delivery mechanisms and options, it will be interesting to see how we arrive at the correct balance at the client.