Eric Norlin, charged with developing content for the SaaScon conference, has been publicly debating what the theme of the next event should be. It's a brave move, and you're invited to join in. [Disclosure: I am on the advisory board for SaaScon. I don't get paid, but they do help with travel and accommodation costs. See disclosure page.]
Eric believes the overall theme should be 'Moving Business Online'. That may sound excessively grandiose and all-embracing, but you should have heard what some of the people at the previous conference last month were saying. There's disruptive innovation in the air.
Hummer Winblad's Ann Winblad: "Perhaps the most exciting new beginning for the software industry, ever."
RightNow Technologies CEO Greg Gianforte explained the major hurdles that prevent conventional software vendors successfully converting to the on-demand model. Here's what you have to do to adopt on-demand:
- Rewrite your application
- Alienate your whole ecosystem that camps their tents in the parking lot for three years while they get your application to maybe work.
- Change your financial model and keep Wall St happy while you're moving from an up-front licensing model to a subscription model
- Get it right first time otherwise your customers won't renew.
He reminded delegates that disruptive innovation typically favors newcomers and disadvantages the incumbents.
Just to add to the discomfort of conventional application vendors attending the conference, SaaS hosting specialist OpSource CEO Treb Ryan said: "We find integrating SaaS applications much easier. It's integrating to conventional applications that's costly."
So there you have it: SaaS is the future of business. It's exciting, disruptive and much easier and cheaper to adopt than conventional applications. What can possibly stop it?