Not your typical SaaS ala SaaS-Bahu television serials! This SaaS is a rather entertaining name for otherwise bland, "Software As A Service".

Number of IT systems in an enterprise is growing every day. The IT team in many organisations are typically consists of grumpy guys who everybody loves to hate. From their point of view, they do a lot of work, but are underpaid and worse, hated. The cost of maintaining disparate systems take the toll on the administrators and in turn on the organisations. Typically, the route taken is to recruit additional staffing. But, in most cases staffing can only alleviate the problem to a certain level. So, what is the solution?

Outsourcing is a rather hated term in the west. But a concept similar to that would be the solution to the problem, SaaS. In SaaS, there are application vendors that provide IT solutions over the Internet. In other words, you outsource your IT system management to another company. For example, Google Apps. Google Apps provide mail solutions, messenger service, wiki like systems, and even a functional office suite. All over the Internet. The servers would be hosted by Google. The enterprise employees just needs to log in to the system, to use it. No more cursing administrators and peace of mind for the IT team!

Things are not exactly rosy though. You need to have seamless Internet connectivity, which anyway is a rather mandatory requirement for any modern enterprise. But the major concern is that privacy. Will the service provider scan our data and steal business secrets? This would be the primary concern. Trust seems to be the cornerstone here. Also, well drafted agreement would provide peace of mind.

SaaS has grown in popularity over the short period of time. Google Apps is steadily growing. Zoho seems to be doing well with their offerings. Zimbra has several hosted customers. SaaS seems to be the way of future. A doubt I have in mind is regarding the usage of such services in a financial institution, where privacy is paramount and customers are often paranoid.

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