SaaS or S-O-S

I tried using a new feature I recently came across on Twitter – TweetBeep. It is rather like Google Alerts, providing a list of recent Tweets on a subject matter of your choice.  I had a go with the term “SaaS” and was surprised at the number of results it returned.

What didn’t surprise me, however, was that the vast majority of them originated from the USA, where the concept of Cloud Computing has been accepted into the mainstream far more than here.  Continuing the usual trend  where IT matters are concerned – so maybe the UK  will follow our US counterparts eventually.

Will Cloud Computing or SaaS ever replace standard corporate networks – probably not. However the advantages of anytime/anywhere access are just too great to be ignored. In a recent Blog, Dennis Howlett commented on the Touring Test being a good definition of a true SaaS product. The Test, as defined by John Paterson, defined a true SaaS product thus:

“Next time you are on holiday, walk into the hotel lobby and log on to your application using whatever machine and browser they have. If you can access all the data and all the functionality in your SaaS application immediately, without having to download any extra software, it’s a true SaaS product.”

Dennis was somewhat critical of this definition – and perhaps it is an over simplification. But surely the point is well made. The essence of Cloud Computing is its ease of access without having to be concerned about network restrictions and firewalls etc.

Many of  my clients appreciate this and virtually every new assignment I take on accepts and appreciates the advantages of our Internet based accounting systems.

Cloud Computing is a growing trend in the UK. Whether it will ever reach mainstream acceptance with UK accountants is anyone’s guess. It certainly will amongst clients and those accountants who are ready to adapt and try new ideas will benefit.


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