SaaS 101: Digging through definitions

Summary:Phil Wainewright on the Software as services blog takes an in-depth look at defining SaaS, an acronym whose definition has become so broad it's almost meaningless. Wainewright's latest post is likely to find the meaning amid the SaaS confusion.

Phil Wainewright on the Software as services blog takes an in-depth look at defining SaaS, an acronym whose definition has become so broad it's almost meaningless.

Wainewright's latest post is likely to find the meaning amid the SaaS confusion. An exerpt:
The truth is that SaaS is, and always will be, a very broadly defined term, and therefore it's inevitable that there will be many different subcategories of SaaS. That creates plenty of potential for misunderstanding and confusion, of course. But don't worry, there's an easy way to avoid getting bogged down. The key to making sense of SaaS is see it in terms of the journey a software developer or architect might take as they plunge further and deeper into the SaaS model. At the outset, the product they'll create looks very similar to conventional licensed software. At the end of their journey, it may not look like software at all.
From there, Wainewright goes through the various flavors--hosting, shared instance, shared services, communities of interest and pay as you go--currently under the SaaS umbrella and concludes that we just may need a new acronym as things evolve. Definitely worth a read.

Topics: Tech Industry

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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