Months ago an off the cuff comment by Fake Steve Jobs got me thinking about the differences between SaaS vendors who control their own infrastructure, and those who take advantage of a cloud based PaaS solution. The thought went that anyone hosting their own solution (ie not taking advantage of a PaaS provider) is somehow undertaking an "old school" strategy.
Indeed the CEO of SaaS vendor Sonian Networks already uses the term “Legacy SaaS” to refer to those player of old who actual do their own hosting and serving.
Clearly there are some good reasons to use outsourced infrastructure – it allows the vendor to focus on their own core competencies, allows them to leverage the scale and investment of the big platform players and forces them to move towards a more standard and open way of doing things.
But is it all rosy?
Sarah posted on RWW about some of the negatives around farming out the control of infrastructure – true her post was largely focused on consumer apps of the likes that Facebook, iTunes et al host – but I wonder if some of her arguments and concerns don't also hold for business level applications?
Given that encouraging a move away from installed apps by mainstream business users requires large amounts of credibility and trust, perhaps keeping the infrastructure in house is a smart strategy for SaaS vendors – we'd be keen to hear your thoughts about all of this.