John Stokdyk refers to the great SaaS debate that we had earlier in the year within the pages of AccountingWEB in his IT Zone roundup of 2006. He refers to Dennis Howlett and myself as evangelists for the topic, and their own David Carter, who thinks SaaS is all "just hot air". John thinks that:
"Based on the progress reported so far by SaaS vendors and user comments on AccountingWEB during the year, David (C) wins the decision on points. But that's not to say SaaS is going to go away."
"Two comments stand out:
1. a bigger reason than money for switching from traditional software to web-based alternatives has to do with the pace and trajectory of technological change
2. it is absolutely inconceivable that he and his staff could roll out improvements at this speed in the traditional wayby buying software and installing it on the university's own computers."
Which all makes me wonder why AccountingWEB (who, of course, deliver their own service across the web) want to ignore this particular technology wave? Is it too cynical to suggest it's because their advertising revenue streams come from the old guard of the software business who haven't made the move to SaaS yet? It can't be lack of knowledge, because they have a good track record of bringing in guest writers to contribute material and reviews on specialist areas (and I know a few who would volunteer!). I just can't work it out.
The UK's technology cycle tends to lag behind the US market by around 12-18 months. That means that we are due for a surge in attention on the topic here in 2007. In my humble opinion AccountingWEB, as the premier online resource for accountants in business and practice in the UK, should be leading rather than following their readers. Compared to other topics they do cover like integrated CRM or workflow, they should be providing much more content, opinion and balanced debate on the SaaS topic.