I just read an interesting article on Internetnews about a recent panel at the AlwaysOn Conference at Stanford being held this week. The article asks if change is coming to the SaaS world – yet gives no definitive answers.
I think the main problem was that many of the SaaS players involved are thinking too “Salesforcey” about SaaS in general. No surprising, since after all the panel was titled “Will the Next Salesforce.com Please Stand Up.”
But as these executives gave some insight about where SaaS is going – and why it hasn’t fully penetrated the Enterprise – they are missing a serious point. SaaS as it stands for most people – the monolithic, multi-tenant model that serves the masses mildly customized solutions – is limited by nature. Instead of trying to change the applications delivered via a SaaS model(a better ERP, etc.) it is more important to change the delivery model and infrastructure itself.
Without a more open and truly customizable SaaS model. And without more user access and control over the data (perhaps the largest sticking point when it comes to penetrating enterprises deals) – SaaS will never be a fully prime time player in the global application software market.
I think rather than try to imitate the current SaaS leaders to become the “next big thing,” providers should be thinking outside of the multi-tenant box in order to provide a higher level of service and more control to the user. That is what companies want.