IDC predicts $25 billion in SaaS acquisitions within enterprises over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months. However, you would not know it from the press coverage that SaaS receives in context to the IaaS and PaaS cloud computing spaces.
The truth of the matter is that SaaS led us all into the cloud. The growth of SaaS juggernauts, such as Salesforce.com, proved out a model that many said was not possible…the ability to consume software over the open Internet, and, in doing so, save money and improve the user experience.
Today SaaS is so much a part of enterprise software that we don’t pay much attention to it. The focus in the cloud computing space is on the growth of IaaS and PaaS providers, such as Google, AWS, Rackspace, HP, and others. While there are almost 2,000 SaaS players out there, of different sizes and functions, they no longer get the attention they did back in 2004.
Of course, Salesforce.com got into the IaaS and PaaS games as well, standing up Force.com and purchasing Heroku, as well as providing some infrastructure and social networking services. You can count on this trend to continue with Salesforce.com and the other larger SaaS players. Perhaps they are trying to get some of the cloud computing spotlight back on them.
SaaS still matters to the growth of the cloud computing space. We must be able to consume enterprise applications from outside providers as part of the value proposition of cloud computing. Without continued growth in that portion of the market, cloud computing won’t completely service the needs of the business.