There is a new SaaS—“Something as a Service” every month. First came the term SaaS—Software as a Service. Marc Benioff coined PaaS—Platform as a Service. Amazon came along with HaaS– hardware as a Service, and Zoli brought the latest one: CaaS—Car as a Service, in response to Shai Agassi’s launch of better place project.
If we learn from history, almost every service started as a product one owned and maintained, which turned into a service over time. Adam and Eve were the first known couple, but shortly thereafter, the first prostitute emerged, offering the real first SaaS: “Spouse as a Service.” Banks are no more than fancy language for VaaS: Vaults as a Service. With urbanization, people started moving from villages to big cities, only to meet the DaaS concept: “Dwelling as a Service,” a huge industry (house and apartment rentals) until these very days.
I can go on and on, but the key is that new products are turning out to be services all the time. You think that Tivo was Video as a Service? No- Video on Demand is TaaS—“Tivo as a Service”—no need to buy a box, and there’s nothing you have to do, just pick the shows you want to see and they will stream directly to your TV, when you want them. The logical conclusion is that mankind will always turn products into services. We are programmed to invent, simplify and move on. And yes, we are lazy.
So what’s next in the “as a Service” space? G.ho.st is creating its DaaS—Desktop as a Service. Their vision is to offer a virtual desktop to all the other SaaS applications. You will still need a machine with some kind of operating system but it will be lighter and leaner.
This is one additional step toward the next big service: a PC-free world, the PCaaS—“PC as a Service” ( psas).” This will be the day when we treat PCs just like we treat our TVs. We turn them on and everything is there. Why it is so needed? In reality, SaaS did not change our life enough, since we still need to own a PC, own an operating system, install firewalls, anti-viruses, network adapters, etc. These components need installation, upgrades and care, so even if everything else we use is SaaS, we can not break free. It is like having 500 channels on your cable box, but if you want to watch sports you’ve got to run to get a DVD from Blockbuster.
PCaaS—“PC as a Service” will be the ultimate dumb box with nothing on it. 100% of the needed resources will be delivered as a service, and the user will just subscribe to the special programs she will need. Basics like Internet, e-mail, virus scan, backup and security will be part of the basic package. Since PCaaS is not installed locally, it can be 100% adjustable, so a 70 year-old grandma will get a package that looks and feels different from that of a 30 year-old stockbroker, but they will both be able to use the platform 100% worry- and work-free.
This is only one example of what can turn out to be a service in the future—there are many more. What is your next Something as a Service?