While reading around SaaS and other stuff, I stumbed across a Web services marketplace company called StrikeIron. One of the most interesting thing I noticed was that they call themselves Data Service provider, and they have named their category as Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), see their blog for interesting read on the topic.
The notion of DaaS is very compelling, because it allows other applications to be built using existing pieces of functionality (data in this case), which in turn can be offered as services (SaaS), which can then again be used by other applications, and the cycle goes on. This aggregation is what is going to provide real value for enterprises, since no one will want to manage 20 SaaS applications within their department/company, and a mashup of those into one portal will be useful and very powerful. Consider the applications I listed in my previous post for running a company entirely via SaaS apps; it will be extremely useful for such a company to worry about one application, one interface, one billing cycle.. you get the idea. Dream as of now, but it is the way to go.
However, one of the major obstacle for such a dream is the fact that today’s SaaS applications are full-fledged applications and not a service in true sense of the word. For example, learn.com offers learning management and course registration and tracking, but it is unlikely that they provide these services devoid of their user interface (howmuch configurable it is). And, in the race of SaaSifying applications, it is entirely possible that new-SaaS companies may not be thinking about this aspect, and thus when the move to such mashup of apps happen, they will scamper again to provide their capabilities as full-fledged service and not only service-wrapped-in-UI. Something for new companies to watch out for!
Interestingly, while I was writing this post, I found Phil Wainewright has already talked about this in the context of Web 3.0 (already we are talking of 3.0!). And I thought I was being original! 🙂