Software as a Service (SaaS) was once a trendy catchall term referring to a third-party provider of software licensing and subscription-based delivery. From the SaaS model, came a significant list of other “as a service” offerings such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and many more. These models have fulfilled company needs well in recent years—as opposed to prior decade on-premise solutions in which companies figured out their service solutions internally. While SaaS is here to stay, technology drives its metamorphosis. What does the SaaS of the future potentially look like?
SaaS and the AI Revolution
You might say artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the meaning of SaaS. The way various entities see AI is interesting. Britannica.com defines AI as this: “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” Google defines it as: “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” In its simplest form, AI is software that automatically gathers and analyzes data and where machines learn to act and think like humans. Keep in mind, these definitions of AI are evolving as you read this. As SaaS companies advance to keep up with changing times, their service models will most likely include the AI revolution including robotics, immersion technology (visualization), and augmented reality, to name a few.
Thoughts on the Future of SaaS
Peruse the Internet and you’ll find every opinion on the planet about the future of SaaS, but some key thoughts arise consistently even as technology is shifting the SaaS landscape beneath us:
- There continues to be a worldwide transition as more and more companies leave their traditional, on-premise solutions to migrate to proven, technologically sound third-party solutions.
- Entrepreneurs love the scalable “pay only for what you use” model that generally comes with SaaS.
- SaaS models offer effective integration with legacy and new business solutions.
- Supporting cloud technology is proven quite successful and cost-effective for many.
- Cybersecurity continues to be a focal point, and a high priority for SaaS providers.
- Consumer options, user experiences, and the ultimate conveniences in SaaS models are unprecedented. There is no turning back by most.
- Desktop-local to cloud-mobile solutions supports ease of use, cost savings, and efficiency—for end-users and providers.
Thousands of mobile-first app-based solutions are making business and life easier and easier. For example, 1) Parkmobile is an app for metered city parking without leaving your car to manage it, 2) users have the ability to manage a multitude of web-based subscriptions for everything from wine to dog food, 3) people enjoy versatile online payment options, and 4) online shopping, delivery and returns are the norm.
As SaaS transforms in 2019 and beyond, whether or not we continue to lump it into the “as a service” umbrella, one thing most leaders agree with—it’s a technology-based service model that leads to sustainable growth, increased consumer spending, and business opportunities like the world have never seen before.
SaaS A Thing of the Past?
Only in name, will SaaS be a thing of the past. Since businesses are continually migrating to a SaaS model or a hybrid version, the trendy buzzwords may drift away as new ones take their places. Consumers may seek specific brands they have come to know over a particular service offering. The competition is already fierce, and the challenge may be in how to identify reputable service providers in their field. If a company, such as RackCo, offers a positive service history and superior support for hosted services at the level you seek, it’s a good sign your company is in good hands moving into the next decade.