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The Next Consolidation Cycle: Software as a Service

You know, I love times like this.  It's one of those rare times....When I'm finally right about something. Trust me, my wife will insist that I'm right about things very rarely. At Akamai I concentrate on extending the Enterprise infrastructure out onto the Internet and into the public cloud. It's from this perspective that I clearly see the strong catalyst for Enterprise IT change - and what convinces me I'm right about what I believe is the next consolidation cycle in the space.
Being right about something means being able to dive into the details, but also being able to "bounce out" and validate the details from a broad vantage point. When I bounce back and look at the technology market today I see some significant and clear trends. I see a real and present collision between consumer and enterprise IT functionality and productivity. And it's in the software as a service space. It's here that innovative delivery technologies combined with present day functionality (like social, mobile, video, etc) are manifesting instantly and crossing the enterprise boarders quicker then anyone imagined it could happen.  These are the bright spots of technology. Those spots where you know you've hit a ground shift of real change. Something that's going to build to the new way of doing business.  So, it's clear to me, in 2012 SaaS is that ground shift.  With no notice..... "Cloud" went from a marketing term to a specific something enterprises spend 10% today and 25% tomorrow on investing in to deliver productivity to end-users.  The CLOUD IS FULL OF SAAS.  Look at any analyst report.... The major spend, quoted by some as over 90% of the actual revenue spend in "the cloud", is SaaS spend.
It's easy to consume.  The HR director can buy it.  The research assistant can buy it.  The entire enterprise can buy it.  Or just your most advanced, highest end users can buy it.  It's consumable.  It's abstracted.  It's easy to adopt. Any device can access it.  You don't need to buy any hardware, train anyone, build anything, secure anything..... It's just instant on-demand application consumption. You give a credit card over the phone and minutes later your users are accessing the app and being productive.  Amazing right?
Sure is.  But, so was "consolidate all your servers to a centralized datacenter with no impacts" 10 years ago.  And IT teams globally are still shaken and hungover from that decade long bender.
We're smarter than that now. 
So.... Age old problem: A technology catalyst (SaaS) that provides real financial and functional benefits, but at the cost of the user being disconnected from content (now that disconnection involves the public Internet as well). This of course results in the enterprise losing control of data, performance, and delivery, and somehow it all sense?
Well... for once, we've learned from our mistakes.
Forget that SaaS involves the Internet (thousands of competing networks somehow working together daily). For get it involves private networks.... Webs of complex hub and spoke networks closely guarded and cordoned off from the public Internet. Forget it involves moving the heart of the business, the most business critical applications we've spent decades scaling and securing, out across this brave new and wild world.....
Because the leaders in technology.... Finally saw this one coming.
Less than a year ago now Akamai and Riverbed realized we had common customer issues.  Common application trends and methods  that involved hybrid public and private networks. Two companies grown to solve unique problems on different sides of the IT World. And a market that forces our unique problems into one. Today we announced the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator.  Riverbed Wan Acceleration, extended into and across private networks now integrated and benefiting from Akamai Internet Acceleration and global distribution. It's a win win.... And I challenge anyone to tell me why it's not the coolest innovation for Cloud Computing in 2012!
I'll be back in a few days to discuss the performance results we're observing when you combine the world's leading private cloud optimization technology with the world's leading public cloud and Internet optimization platform. Till then, track #fastSaaS on twitter and toss out some comments and questions!


I think that it is within the software program like a support room. It is right here which revolutionary shipping systems coupled with current day performance (such as sociable, cellular, video clip, and so on) tend to be occurring immediately as well as traversing the actual business boarders faster after that anybody thought it might occur. These would be the vibrant places associated with technologies.

I totally agree, it's within those apps that the innovation of functionality is happening, but what I'm pointing to is how quickly the market is adopting those applications and how quickly and easy consuming it is. It's changing the enterprise IT ecosystem very quickly and delivering those features you mention to Enterprises very quickly and at low barriers of entry.

But yes, the apps themselves are delivering next generation functionality.

Thanks for commenting!