I’m here in sunny California, home of the world famous In-n-Out Burger. No, I didn’t travel 1,700 miles for a cheeseburger (even if it is a double-double, animal style). I’m here for SaaSCon, the premier Software as a Service conference that brings together application developers, IT managers and infrastructure gurus. Over the next couple days, I will be providing you with a recap of the previous day’s events.
The big news is that business of all sizes are starting to incorporate more and more SaaS applications into their IT stack. From the IT managers that I spoke with, it appears that the most compelling reason for incorporating SaaS offerings is to free up resources to focus on other activities.
I spoke with a CIO from a consumer goods company who told me about how he was able to build an incredibly successful custom application funded entirely with the budget that was freed up when they turned to a SaaS-based email provider. He took money that was going towards a non-differentiating activity (email), and applied it to something that gave his company a significant competitive advantage.
Yesterday’s keynotes focused on incorporating SaaS within the enterprise, with presentations by CIOs representing Chiquita Brands, Colorado Capital Bank, and the Schumacher group. The underlying driver in all three presentations was that SaaS enables firms of all size to better scale, transfer risk, and focus on differentiating activities.
Another point that was emphasized in the keynotes as well as the breakout sessions was the need for SaaS applications to be powered by trustworthy infrastructure. This was a hot topic with the IT managers I spoke with, which underlined the need for SaaS providers to make sure that they choose a hosting provider that understands their business and is held accountable to strong SLAs (shameless plug: like Rackspace’s SLAs, backed by the Fanatical Support Promise.)
I’ll have more tomorrow, include coverage of a case study presented by Emil Sayegh (VP of Product Management & Marketing, Rackspace) and Kraig Kuipers (CEO, Pangea Foundation) on determining the right infrastructure for SaaS and Web 2.0 companies.
If you are at SaaSCon, please be sure to stop by the Rackspace booth and say hello!