As we approach the end of the year, it is a good time to both reflect on 2007 and think about what is ahead for next year. As usual, there is a good deal of debate about IT spending trends. What gets less debate, but is likely more important however, is how the industry is positioned to deliver technology innovation to meet new business needs and drive value.

The simple fact is that IT spending priorities will align with the segments where technology innovation can drive the largest return on investment. Overall, I believe that building heterogeneous information infrastructures will be a key priority for organizations in the coming year. So, with that in mind, my next blog entries will discuss my top 5 picks for the hot trends relative to information infrastructures and IT for 2008.

Number 5 - SaaS for Information Services

Software as a Service (SaaS) has become a key technology for deploying business applications. SaaS applications can provide excellent value by lowering up front costs, and speeding deployment. I believe this trend will continue to evolve with more services becoming available that expand the use beyond just specific applications. One example is data backup. Our Mozy SaaS backup solution is leading the way to help consumers backup their personal data with a simple, complete, and very cost effective transformational solution. Look for these infrastructure SaaS capabilities to have more and more applicability to businesses and corporations. 

I also expect that we will see the emergence of what I call generation 3 SaaS platforms. In the first generation of SaaS, many applications were simply repackaged as hosted applications. They offered a more flexible business model but were not cost-optimized. The second generation of SaaS has been driven by the emergence of dedicated SaaS platforms. This step greatly increased the effectiveness of the offerings because the products were developed specifically for multi-tenant (shared) environments. These applications tend to be all-or-nothing, however, and do not allow a great deal of flexibility.

Generation 3 SaaS applications will incorporate multi-tenancy and also incorporate the ability to run more seamlessly across onsite and offsite datacenters to more effectively serve enterprise environments. A combination of virtualization as well as classic multi-tenant platforms will be used to deploy customized applications across a shared platform. Within a common “information platform” businesses will be able to deploy both on-premise and remote applications.

Exciting stuff...

Stay tuned for the countdown to number one.




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