Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SaaS Asia 2009 Conference

Last month, I was invited to the SaaS Asia Conference organized by Springboard Research. It was a very fruitful event with lots of insight to take away. This is also the 2nd time that I heard Michael Barnes (VP of Software Research). I am impressed by his coverage on the state of SaaS.

The short video clip from Salesforce provides a good explanation on the benefits of SaaS (Software as a Service).

After this conference, I am more convinced that SaaS model will be here to stay. It will be especially useful for SMEs:

  • For applications that the data is not sensitive to be hosted outside the company’s premises
  • For business applications that are generic enough without the need for customization
  • For needs that are not critical to the operations of the company
  • For organizations that are unable/unwilling to commit to a huge investment upfront with the traditional licensing model
  • For a small number of users which is difficult to justify for the purchase

At the same time, the management from the bigger companies may want to consider these factors to see whether SaaS is suitable for them. I believe the SaaS vendors will also have to think about these issues to make their offering more attractive.
  • Scalability – what happens if there is more usage? Which model will be more cost effective
  • Network response time – Web applications requires a high response time to be effective and user friendly. It is more challenging when it is housed outside the intranet.
  • Crisis Management – In time of crisis, will the service provider be able to react in time to all their customers? Try to imagine one big raincloud with multiple locations on fire. Is it possible to put out all the fire? Sometimes the bit of slack is required to handle unplanned emergencies.
  • Exit strategy – What is the cost to migrate to another application? Can the data be exported out?

Here are the other related articles from the event for your reading interests