Software As A Service Continues To Soar

Gartner says another year of stellar growth for SaaS despite the global financial crisis.

Market for SaaS is forecast to reach $US8b in 2009 up from $US6.6b last year.

It is also expected to double to $US16b by 2013.

Hot areas are –
– horizontals with common processes among distributed virtual workforce teams and web 2.0 initiatives.
– office suites and digital content creation
– enterprise resource planning and supply chain management
– human capital management and procurement
– customer relationship management (now at 18%!)

Key drivers were –
– rapid deployment
– rapid return on investment
– less upfront capital
– decreased reliance on limited implementation resources
– greater competition
– increased focus by mega vendors giving legitimacy to the space

Secondary benefits of a SaaS strategy were –
– backups outsourced
– updates and maintenance outsourced
– resourcing and operations outsourced

Should be good for Saasu and the SaaS Ecosystem.

Thanks to Gartner Research and The Rust Report. Quality reporting as usual.

Trade secrets of a Tycoon

Wisdom from a rich man, third hand but sharp and memorable as your own tattoo.

This article was originally published by Marcus Padley in his ‘The Insider’ Column. I have taken the liberty of reordering the points but otherwise is is unchanged. Thanks Marcus, a quality read as usual. I have added notes in brackets only.

Tough lessons, sometimes brutal, always true. If you do want to be a commercial success, these will certainly help. Then again after reading this you may not be willing to pay the price.

1. Patience is not a virtue – it is a waste of bloody time. Time is the most valuable of commodities and you will fail without it. No one got rich working 9 to 5 and respecting weekends. You can’t build a business 9 to 5. It takes total immersion. Every activity becomes a time-versus-money equation.

2. There is no substitute for making mistakes. Mistakes compress learning. [Some people say you should try to get other people, like your first few employers, to pay for your mistakes, but beware if you make too many you may never have any more employers]

3. Education is paramount. The more you learn the more the lights come on and the more you realise how many other lights are off. Knowing opens doors. And knowing what you don’t know is as important as knowing what you do.

4. You can not do everything yourself. Lucky then that the most valuable and available capital in the whole world is human capital, employees. The willingness of highly capable and educated people to work for a certain rather than variable sum is the most exploitable, available and cheap investment you will ever make. Invest in the markets and you concern yourself with returns of zero to 20 percent per annum and possibly even a loss. Invest in people and your return can be hundreds of per cent. There is simply no better return on capital “employed”.

{Beware governments who create too many barriers to businesses employing and deploying human capital, a poor balance will ultimately destroy the quality of life it was intended to protect.]

5. There is education and there is qualification. Set out in pursuit of a qualification and you will deliver yourself to the corporate sector for exploitation. Set out for an education and you will develop beyond that. To take it to the extreme: Why do exams? You already have everything you need.

[Qualifications are valuable mans of benchmarking but take care to see beyond them when identifying talent for your business].

6. Starting with nothing is good. Who is the better competitor – someone fat and comfortable or someone lean and hungry, someone driven, focused, bold and prepared to take risks?

7. Debt is king. You’ll never [?] make big money without it. Do not be afraid of debt. Liabilities drive you too the most herculean of efforts. [Debt can be of course be non-monetary obligations, moral and otherwise].

8. Think beyond the square. Set an unachievable goal. Shoot for the stars and hit the moon. Pictures of Porsches on the ridge. All that sort of stuff. [Start a movement not a business some commentators would say. The key is make your motivation and goal as large as possible and only limited by your imagination.]

9. Growing a business organically will only ever achieve incremental returns. Take the big steps and the little steps will look after themselves [?]. there is more money made is a room [e.g. investment bank trading room] in an hour than is made in a factory every day.

10. Your business [model] has to be scaleable. You cannot make exponential money without exponential growth. A pop star making an album is a scaleable business and why pop stars are rich. After 100 years in the game Morgan cars are still in the same factory and have a waiting list. They don’t sell cars they ration them The business is not scaleable.

Easy isn’t it? So, do you still want to be rich?

Share your secrets with others by commenting below.

Computers Need To Get Easier & Better – Chrome OS insight

Google just launched their first operating system, very quietly. But it will have a huge impact.

Computers just need to get easier to use and better for the tasks we want to use them for.

No hassles. No viruses. No learning. No configuring. No updating. No frigging around.

I just want to do stuff. Now. Keep it simple!

Using all sorts of operating systems for years I have a better perspective than most. DOS, VMS, AppleOS, Lots of Mac, Lots of Windows, Lots of Unix, iPhone, Android, ‘browsers’ and a fair few embedded operating systems too.

Lots of UX (User Experience) and usability and design people around the world think they are doing a great job, and generally they are.

But the foundations are made of sand. Their platforms are flawed.

Don’t get me wrong, iPhoneOS and MacOSX have done more for the human race recently – in terms of letting them get on with thinking about the thinking (which only we can do) rather than the machine they are trying to use for the task – than anyone else on the planet. Apple are leading lights.

But even Macs and iPhones take a bit of sorting out and updating regularly and a little learning. I am onto my third new generation Mac and this last one I let my kids unpack, install and configure. They did it in minutes. I watched but it really was child’s play. Ok so the internet wifi was already available but that aside, kids couldn’t do that in the past easily.

But it is still not enough. My Windows and Unix stuff won’t run on the Mac (without parallels or fusion and more installing and configuring and switching).

So Google has launched Chrome OS, not the browser Chrome (9 months old now and used by 30m people regularly they say) but the the Google Chrome Operating System (GCOS?).

Chrome OS has a new windowing system too and will run on most devices (targeting netbooks up to desktops and maybe more) while the android OS is targeting phones and netbooks. So there is some overlap and the Chrome browser underlying technology will work on both. with some tweaks.

I think it is as much an admission that they need two teams (read product lines or production lines in the industrial age) for these two huge market opportunities. The need for focus and speed to market simultaneously in two spaces – as much as any differences – are driving the need for separate products.

It sends a clear message that connected environments are now mainstream. Most business can run entirely from the cloud now. We do.

Same for individuals and families.

And the SaaS (Software as a service) or cloud apps (applications – ie software) all work neatly now, they will also benefit.

The key is standas, mainly javascript (and HTML5 or 6 and java) because it is so standard now and fast (a recent development) the developers are flocking to it.

As a result frameworks are popping up to solve the longer term bigger issues of the browser like local peristence (storage) and semi-online and offline working seamlessly so you can handle being in a taxi and not stop your note taking or emailing or presentation or the like (within limits).

But the BIG CHANGE is something else – simplicity, security, standardisation all of which rolls up into ease of use.

EASE OF USE IS THE BIG CHANGE. It is nirvana.

Because the majority of the world still don’t use computers. Even in mature economies with great infrastructure, young kids and older adults still don’t use it much.

This is a BLUE OCEAN play by Google. They can make a difference here to humanity. It may be incremental technically but the impact will be disproportionate because it could enable new lower cost platforms too.

And they don’t have to wait for an app store to get populated. All the web apps will just work on ChromeOS and most of the others will see this as such as huge market they will flock to it.

IF Google can resist the temptation to put too many bells and whistles it may finally deliver what industry pundits have promised for years, as Sun said so aptly the network is the computer.

With peer to peer networking improvements (not promised by Google but my big tip is it will come) these is turning that wisdom on it’s head – the computers are the network.

With other developments by empute (a new stealth startup in Sydney looking at the human to machine interface) this could be a very very interesting space.

You can read the Google official Chrome OS announcement here.