translated literally it would be: Because SaaS is HOT now !!
& before the Indian channel surfers & Ekta-logy lovers interpret it differently, let me clarify I am only refering to Software as a Service, the flavor of the season with the IT industry. Infact the word seems to be hotter than Web 2.0 these days.
So the blog is not about explaining the concept of SaaS or 'On Demand Software' but to ofcourse rant about the typical IT Services Companies take on it. The interesting question is how should a services company capitalize on SaaS, given that it does not want to go creative and launch its own product offering, which will ofcourse require a bigger investment with the associated risk.
The SaaS phenomenon has been brewing for last couple of years, the Services industry has only got tuned to it since Bill Gates issued a memo last October acknowledging the Disruptive power of the On Demand Software and its possible impact on traditional software business. In fact Microsoft realigning itself with Ray Ozzie as its CTO has been essentially to be able to leverage this concept and not be left behind. Infact Larry Ellison had recognized the power earlier and thus angel funded SaaS startups like Netsuite, SalesForce
So how does a Services company leverage SaaS? IMO there are 2 very simple approaches. One obviously is to hone, build and showcase expertise in technologies involved in any SaaS application.
The second & an interesting approach is to grow expertise in taking SaaS to the end client. This would mean partnering with the SaaS providers in educating end clients, implementing - configuring & customizing it for their use, integrating it with other end client apps & processes. This obviously requires a Services company to go in as Consultant who can help redefine the end client processes, application portfolio in order to leverage On Demand Softwares.
To get into SaaS based Consulting we will need to be thought leaders in SaaS which definitely will be a tall claim for any services company. So the other entry criteria is being a reliable business consultant experienced in process and portfolio reengineering who is very well aware of SaaS options available to solve a particular problem. Lot of my previous blogs mention various SaaS apps available in different domains particularly useful for any startup. A good place to look at new and established on demand players and offerings is this.