By Hercules Schoombee, Managing Director, Aastra Telecom South Africa PTY (Ltd)
A couple of months back while I was browsing through a second-hand bookshop, I picked up a book called Armageddon 2419 AD by author Philip Nowlan, which was the original book that the character Buck Rogers was based on. As a child in the 80’s, I never realised that the book was written in the late 1920’s and that the author was in fact providing us with his own view of how he thought the world would look like in 500 years time.
I was amazed to find out that an author in 1920 could describe a few devices so accurately, which today are known as the cellular phone, the television set and remote camera’s, using his own words to describe them ofcourse. His insights into the future intrigued me more than the actual story line.
Software as a Service (SaaS) as innovative as it may seem, does not actually fall in the category of future prediction or what is going to happen in the next 500 years or more with technology. I do not have to be as bold as Philip Nowlan to make a prediction about the future of SaaS, SaaS is already here!
We are already experiencing some of the benefits of SaaS. I am sure many of us have logged onto our favourite web page to find it has changed overnight and now offers a completely new feature set? Think of internet banking, no upgrades were made before the user logged in to their web page, yet overnight new security features have been added, the user interface has been improved and so on. You still have the same functionalities on the page as before and now have access to additional information as well.
The key components for SaaS to become a reality include a remote server, web access and an application that works better than the original version that is installed on the end users desktop.
With data throughput increasing and the pricing of bandwidth dropping continuously, I believe all the ingredients are available to launch SaaS as a reality and to create an entirely new industry and business approach to the way things were done in the past.