Is your head in the clouds?
How about your data? Worse yet, is it in his?—>
Software as a Service (SaaS), sometimes referred to as “Cloud Computing”, was the topic of a recent meeting I attended. Ian Duffield, COO of Decipher, Inc. Survey Reporting and Data Collection lead a discussion revolving around the implications of SaaS as well as current applications in the Fresno, CA area. From what I gathered, SaaS is here to stay and is a real success in local industry.
So what is this all about anyway? Many of us are using “web based” email from Yahoo or Gmail and more and more of us are watching TV on hulu. These are SaaS.
To Rent or to Buy
Beyond the “geeky” technical difference between having your own tech team or having someone else solve all of those problems, there lies two distinct (and competing) business models: To rent or to buy? To illustrate these models in terms of mass market personal use, let’s talk about Rhapsody’s subscription model and Itunes‘ purchasing model. Rhapsody is a service that allows you (for about $14 a month) to listen to all the music you want on a few devices. You can fill up, empty and refill your MP3 player as often as you like. Conversely, with Itunes, you buy one song then another etc.. Although Itunes is far more profitable than Rhapsody at the moment, this “Subscription” model is most likely the wave of the future.
This brings us back to “Skynet” the evil fictional monster in the machine that made the Terminator films such big hits. If we are to embrace “Cloud Computing” more fully, we are going to have to let go of the notion that holding information is safer than allowing others (often machines) to hold it for us.