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What shape is that cloud?

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 5, 2009

2 min read

Cloud computing has received a burst of media coverage recently – with Gartner putting it at the top of their ten strategic technologies for next year (for the second year running).

I agree with Gartner and think next year we’ll see a real swell in take up and buzz, particularly in software as a service – easily the most visible arm of cloud computing to those outside the IT industry.

For those new to software as a service or “SaaS” it is a model of software licensing and usage where you pay to use software made available over the internet that is built, maintained, kept operational and further developed by a third party. You typically interact with the software via a web browser or occasionally a piece of client software running on your computer.

Given the freedom it gives users from unnecessary licenses, upfront fees, IT maintenance, version control and (some) hardware needs, I think the day will eventually come when the SaaSy small business owner will be able to out compete and out evolve their larger competitors who stick with the installed software model.

These forward looking businesses will reap the benefits of access to their data wherever they are and on multiple devices – PC, laptop and smartphones and instant access to the latest features to improve their business productivity, wow their customers and collaborate with their community of prospects, customers, suppliers and competitors.

Indeed one day in the not too distant future installing software from a CD or paying a large once off licence fee to use a particular software version will become as much as a novelty as using a floppy disc or dialling a rotary dial phone.

Do you think we are approaching a cloud, or at least SaaS, tipping point in Australia? Are you already using a SaaS service – perhaps one you don’t even realise (hint: what personal email system do you use)?

Tags: business, trends,