SaaS: let IT do the work
My car turns on the lights when I start the engine and turns them off when I turn the engine off. Shouldn't all cars do that? I'm shocked when I rent a car and learn they still make cars that leave the lights on when the key isn't in the ignition. Sure, it's not hard to turn off the lights. If you remember. If you don't, you'll come back to a dead battery. And somewhere in Detroit an engineer is saying "but what if someone wants to leave their lights on all the time?" How often, really, does that happen? Who is this 'someone' that you're referring to?
Computing is rather the same. Windows is great because you can configure it exactly the way you want. You can change every setting. And that's also its weakness. Maintaining a desktop computer isn't really that hard. But somehow my dad manages to move his toolbars from the top to the bottom of the screen. My brother gets a new computer and has no idea what his email settings are. And it's not really the desktop software and OS as much as the settings and the data. Happily, Joel Spolsky has simplified my tech support life with. It allows me to connect to my family's computers and fix almost anything without going over there.
I find that I'm now recommending gmail as everyone's primary email client; for me, it's better than Outlook, it can find messages faster, and it creates contacts automatically. And my family members need only to remember their logon info. Everything else is on the server.
Perhaps this is whyreports that the Software as a Service model is becoming the dominant revenue model for software companies. In some ways, we're returning to the bad ole days of the mainframe; SaaS turns our PCs into clients and puts all the important stuff on the server. The vendor can focus on managing the tools so its customers can focus on using the tools. Sounds like a win-win.
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