When we think about software-as-a-service (SaaS), we tend to envision large-scale services such as Salesforce.com. After all, the conventional wisdom is that for providers to make money, they need scale. But much of that conventional wisdom will be turned on its head in 2010.
More targeted SaaS application environments will evolve with the availability of ready-made platforms such as Force.com from Salesforce.com, Azure from Microsoft and SaaSGrid from Apprenda.
The least known of the three, but perhaps with the most impact, is Apprenda, which not only provides a platform for hosting the applications but also the software to manage a SaaS business. That means lots of potential vendors that previously lacked the capital to set up a SaaS business could leverage Apprenda. And more importantly, company CEO Sinclair Schuller says he expects his service to especially appeal to startup software companies that want to target vertical industries. The result of all this expansion should be a much richer SaaS ecosystem.