On the 24th of September (Wednesday next week) I will be giving a talk on “The Future of Enterprise Application Development”. There are two talks on that evening, the other is by August de los Reyes presenting on Emotional Design.
My talk was rescheduled from one that I was meant to do earlier in the year but couldn’t because I was ill. In the end it was fortunate because the mood in the industry around things such as SaaS is moving and SaaS has a huge impact on the platforms that developers will be using to deliver solutions in the future.
Software as a Service is the notion that rather than building and selling software, vendors will package up that software into a complete service offering where we pay on an ongoing basis for the right to use that software and they will continue to evolve and improve that software over time.
As part of the re-preparation for my talk I’ve been building up a mind-map of all the things that are relevant to the conversation. Perhaps the best way to describe my talk is list out what I think are the open questions that still need to be answered:
- Business Users
- What are the forces driving the move from in-house IT to SaaS?
- Is SaaS just a re-badging of the old failed outsourcing model?
- How do I integrate my personal computing life with my business computing life?
- IT Professionals
- If we out-source all our infrastructure what happens to our jobs?
- If our apps don’t run on our infrastructure where is out data?
- How will we manage rights of our users?
- How do we deal with vendors “upgrading their applications”?
- How do we negotiate a SaaS style SLA?
- Application Developers
- What happens to line of business application development?
- How do I build multi-tenant applications?
- What kind of new skills am I going to need?
- How do I integrate my application with other SaaS offerings?
- Will we need to support multiple versions of our SaaS solution?
- Solution Vendors
- How do track and bill usage by user and by feature?
- How do we transform our business from consulting?
I don’t think that anyone has all the answers but I think by understanding what the forces are and what kind of questions need to be answered we are better positioned to take advantage of this new trend. My session is all about exposing and discussing these questions and looking at some of the practical things that you can do in your line of business applications today to get yourself ready.