The World is Changing

In the last weeks a lot is written about the financial crisis, rescue plans and the effect on business software companies. I do agree with Steve Ballmer that no one is immune to a global crisis and I also believe this might be a good opportunity for SaaS as recession-proofing Software, but there is a lot more!

Let's look at some important trends we see in the society:
  • Possible reduces spending as a result of the financial turmoil
  • Increasing oil prices
  • Terrorist threats giving us an unsafe feeling 
  • Global warming and the need to safe energy
In the last 10 years we've also seen an enormous increase in communication volume. Mobile phones and the internet were the driving technologies behind this. It started with phone calls asking: 'Where are you?' and today we aggregate all our ambient awareness in FriendFeed. All this communication was driven by the need for more social interaction, what also explains the emerge and success of social networking.

The trends in the society will result in a reduction of travel, or at least slowdown the growth curve of travel. People will work more from home, but do need social interaction. Thus the need for social interaction will only increase, meaning that future business software requires more social features. These social features should not only be among coworkers, but also among prospects, customers and partners.

The social interaction and collaboration requires to bring people together, and SaaS solutions in the cloud are the easiest way to bring people together, thus explaining the importance and huge opportunity of SaaS.


I'm finding executive level managers resisting these trends. For example the notation of working from home. Old school managers want to measure productivity of knowledge workers. And because they cannot get a grip, they prefer employees to spend 40 or more hours in the office. Harvard's Andrew McAfee has just started blogging - "Should Knowledge Workers Have Enterprise 2.0 Ratings?" along with a framework to capture the E2.0 scores. Especially many SMB companies are run by controlling type entrepreneurial personalities; or they surround themselves with dull detail managers. I have a feeling they will be warm up to buy SaaS when metrics used to measure sales people or hourly production workers can satisfactorily measure the knowledge worker. I don't see any way to retro fit the established business software with these E.20 metrics...

The Saas revolution is going to make distribution extremely easy if nothing else, as you pointed out - its the perfect example of a FLAT world. So the cost benefits attached to that are immense. Ive seen a couple of companies take advantage of that - 1 of them that i can instantly recall is a project management tool called Deskaway - based in Mumbai and serving the World..

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