I usually refrain from touching on this subject so early (half way at this point) into a year, but I get so many requests to talk about SaaS 2013 innovations and changes, and as a result, I guess I’m left with little choice but to go ahead.
The problem with talking about SaaS 2013 breakthroughs like this, so early on is that I actually have to wax slightly technical regarding what’s being done. A lot of the innovations and changes that are actually noteworthy are very “under the hood” sorts of things, or new designs that aren’t actually what they call “productized” yet. Most of the time, when an innovation of significant note is made in any science, it’s usually a year later that it’s widely known in practical application.
That said, any publically noticed changes in SaaS for this year are therefore going to be innovations made last year, and anything from this year, you won’t really see in full swing for another ten months on the outset.
So, with that said, I’ll do my best to point out the changes active this year, developed last year, and talk about what things discovered this year, we can expect to see in use next year. Again, it’s only half way into the year, so there’s a limit to what we know has been accomplished.
Sadly, most of the time, I can talk about some pretty dramatic breakthroughs, but we’re going through a time of standardization and refinement of existing standards, which just doesn’t sound as epic on paper. But, the truth of the matter is that standardization of existing innovations is actually very exciting when you consider the implications of it.
When a new technology or new standard of practice is introduced, it rarely works perfectly, and many of the drawbacks of its use are due to a lack of standardization and further refinement. If you look at the past of technology, this is the case with all things.
So, what we’re seeing in practice this year is a set of standards for interoperability between SaaS systems. Basically, we’re seeing a vast growth of compatibility for integration between suites by different companies or for different purposes, handled by standard plugin systems which all can use.
This is making the general “cloud” environment a very compatible place, just as a standardization of traditional software in the mid nineties did for desktop computing. No longer will we have to learn a bunch of very specific things for specific sets of SaaS, and have them utterly non-transferrable to any other set. This has been a drawback in the past, and has resulted in a lot of lost productivity.
As for what’s being worked on this year? Well, there’s a lot of talk of new algorithms for indexing and searches, which will result in better targeting of information and far more superior BI metrics in next year’s onslaught of CRM and BI software. How these algorithms work and how they will be targeted is a little bit of a mystery, but recent demonstrations of them at work in smaller applications such as Google’s new intrinsic spam filter show a lot of promise.
So, while it may seem less exciting, the SaaS 2013 innovations have a lot of promise. Next year, we’ll wonder how we lived without the seemingly boring standardization and intrinsic indexing that’s being worked out right now, count on that!