The rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud are intertwined. The early SaaS era, from the late 1990s to 2007, proved customers were ready to abandon managing their own applications on-premises for “as a service” alternatives. Salesforce.com is the favorite example here. But, these first-generation SaaS companies had to manage their own hosting infrastructure under great burden and complexity.
In 2007 the modern cloud era began with Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) initial storage and compute offerings. Soon new SaaS projects (let’s call these second-generation) were launching on AWS (and later Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform) instead of building their own hosting data centers. Unshackling organizations from managing hardware and physical infrastructure, the cloud unleashed a “Cambrian” explosion of creative experimentation in all aspects of enterprise IT and scientific research. Beyond email, CRM, SFA, and HRIS, other disciplines such as medical research, astronomy, manufacturing, healthcare, and finance experienced significant advances.
SaaS and the cloud have transformed how companies manage data and run their businesses.
Greg Arnette is technology evangelist at Barracuda and a serial entrepreneur. He has founded and served as CTO of three enterprise software companies – Sonian (acquired by Barracuda), IntelliReach (acquired by Infocrossing), and AlertWare (acquired by Netpro). He has been a messaging, collaboration, Internet, and networking expert for more than 20 years, and has consulted leading corporations on the management and administration of email systems.