SaaS simply means Software As A Service. There is really nothing new under the sun. The concept is as old as the utility billing system. You have been on the consumer end all your life, your parents’ lives and your grandparents’ lives and you just don’t realized it. Because you were born into it. SaaS is just fashionable twist on a century old concept. You pay for your electric bill every month and you pay for your water bill every month. The service stops when you stop paying. Simple as that.
Back in the old days, at a time there was no internet. Cavemen have to physically visit software retail outlets to buy software that came in a box. And they have to carry this box home and install the software onto their computers. There was really no infrastructure to bring software to the consumers the same way we did with electricity and water. Our ancestors had built massive electric grids and water system to push the human race forward. Similar, the invention and commoditization of the internet enable us to deliver software to every household.
Software as a service had many incarnations. It had been called “Utility Computing” promoted by Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison decades ago. And we had ASP.net from Microsoft at roughly the same time. Software as a service at the Enterprise level never really got the proper foot hold, partly because global enterprise are especially wary about data security, compliance issues and the possible leak of competitive information. They usually had their own server farm, business continuity infrastructure and production support teams. It is rather hard to envision a world where enterprise software could blend well with the service model.
However, an underlying current was secretly taking shape. That’s the explosive growth of the SaaS specially catered for small business market. Small business owners and their staffs nowadays are tech-savvy enough to operate business software without much training, thanks to the revolutionary user experience design (UX) that are in rapid growth at the same time.