Behind The Buzzword: Software As A Service

How Did SaaS Become A Buzzword?

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Steven Lerner

Digital Transformation professionals are often inundated with a barrage of new business buzzwords. Does a particular buzzword refer to meaningful technology, or is it just another example of meaningless terminology? Each week, Enterprise Mobility Exchange publishes Behind The Buzzword, a quick overview of new technology jargon and how professionals view it.

Software as a service (SaaS) is one of the most hotly debated topics in the enterprise. Some digital leaders recognize the importance of SaaS as a solution for business. Meanwhile, there are other digital leaders who have been inundated with barrage of services under the SaaS umbrella, and they see this term as nothing more than a buzzword.

SaaS is a business model in which software that is centrally hosted on the cloud is licensed on a subscription basis. This is also called a web-based service or an on-demand service. Although SaaS may seem like a modern concept, its origins date back to the 1960s. With the rise of the internet in the 1990s, and later with the emergence of cloud computing, SaaS began to permeate into the enterprise. An example of SaaS for the enterprise is Salesforce, which is available over the internet.

Over the past few years, SaaS has become commonplace for many businesses. The advantages of using SaaS are the low cost and it is easy to use. By the year 2020, 73% of organizations are projected to have all of their apps run by SaaS. This will occur as enterprise software shifts from a cloud first mentality to a cloud only mentality. At that point, the SaaS market will soar to nearly $76 billion.

Why Is SaaS A Buzzword?

Despite the acceptance of SaaS among enterprises, this term is still considered to be a buzzword. In an interview with Enterprise Mobility Exchange, IQPC’s Chief Digital Officer Bob Gibson said that SaaS was the one business/technology buzzword that he is tired of hearing the most. This term can be especially annoying to some leaders when it is combined with other phrases, such as saying that a company is SaaS-enabled.

The real reason why SaaS is considered to be a mere buzzword is because a lot of businesses started to add it to any marketing phrase just to fit in. There have been cases of applications that were not available online or through a cloud that started to use the phrase SaaS as a marketing pitch. By jumping on the SaaS bandwagon, the phrase no longer has the same meaning.

To summarize, SaaS is a practical solution for many enterprises. However, don’t go around saying that every application is SaaS.

Are there any technology buzzwords or phrases that you are tired of hearing? Share them with Editor Steven Lerner by emailing