What is SaaS, you ask? It's an acronym for "software as a service." SaaS is beginning to replace terms like ASP (application service provider), hosted software, etc., that describe software made available over the Web.
So why do I love it?
Reason #1--It's what we do.
The first reason I love SaaS is that it's what we do at Silverpop. We manage the servers, the software and the network as one complete solution for our clients. I've been running or funding companies involved with creating and selling software for almost 25 years, and I can tell you that SaaS is going to change the world of technology.
Reason #2--SaaS is REALLY useful for marketers.
The relationship between marketers and IT is often strained or worse. IT departments thrive on long-term planning, predictable requirements and relatively static software solutions. Marketing, on the other hand, is all about change. If a competitor makes a move, marketers are expected to respond--immediately. If a critical campaign isn't getting the response it needs, marketers must be able to drop everything, change the campaign and re-launch. IT cycles and marketing needs just don't align in most situations.
To put it another way, if an IT solution works well at Coke, then Pepsi would be interested in looking at it, too. But the idea of Coke or Pepsi ever doing anything similar in the marketing departments is so hard to imagine that people use the two companies as an aphorism of competition.
SaaS changes everything for marketers. All of sudden, marketers get an IT solution custom-built for their needs. And, even more important, the support and maintenance of that solution are designed around the cycles and planning needs unique to marketing. Few internal IT departments could afford the kind of minute-to-minute support that marketers crave. Yet when a SaaS company like Silverpop provides a similar solution across hundreds of marketers, the economics start to make a lot of sense.
SaaS isn't going to put IT out of business. Not by a stretch. It will, however, move some (and maybe most) of the software used by marketers out of the corporate data center and into the hands of purpose-built companies that specialize in the service models that marketers demand.
Stay tuned for more reasons why I love SaaS...