I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about “network-level” applications for the last several months. Some people call it “cloud computing,” others “grid computing”…whatever. Suffice it to say that it is more than software as a service (SaaS), which is sometimes as far as libraries will go in trusting the network to their applications.
Now the Gen-X in me wants to be an ageist about this and say that older people just don’t get the power of cloud computing or SaaS. The former head-banger in me (yes, you heard me) recalls the words of Rob Halford, the Beast of Judas Priest, who said “you don’t have to be old to be wise.” The placater in search of middle ground in me says this all boils down to trust and control. As Microsoft, who is light on the former and criticized for its love of the latter, put it:
Trust, or the lack thereof, is the number one factor blocking the adoption of software as a service (SaaS). A case could be made that data is the most important asset of any business–data about products, customers, employees, suppliers, and more. And data, of course, is at the heart of SaaS. SaaS applications provide customers with centralized, network-based access to data with less overhead than is possible when using a locally-installed application. But in order to take advantage of the benefits of SaaS, an organization must surrender a level of control over its own data, trusting the SaaS vendor to keep it safe and away from prying eyes.