Feature Story

"As a Service" is at your service

by Stephanie Chan

The SaaS industry is heading towards $130 billion in 2020.

The cloud is the source of everything— it's an industry that began with Software as a Service (SaaS) and has evolved into practically any form of cloud computing offering. Vendors offer everything from A to Z—you can get "Analytics-as-a-Service," "Desktop-as-a-Service," "Platform-as-a-Service" and even "Quantum Computing-as-a-Service." The list is boundless and it isn't about to stop.

The Software as a Service industry, which started all of us reaching for the cloud, has hit $116 billion and is expected to reach $130 billion in 2020. Looks like everyone's head is in the clouds.

A rapidly growing industry

So what is SaaS? The delivery and licensing model allows software to be accessed on the web via a subscription rather than having it installed on a computer. Instead of investing in the hardware, companies can rely on providers to host and manage the infrastructure to support the software. And it makes sense for a company’s velocity as well—technology trends are rapidly changing, and SaaS helps provide quick upgrades and management. It saves money and is easier and faster to use.

See also: Quantum computing is changing the future of IT as we know it

SaaS Mag writes that as the rapidly growing as-a-service industry skyrockets to $130 billion, it’s important to keep an eye on trends. These include the incorporation of artificial intelligence, the shift to transaction-based payment models and even the incorporation of blockchain.

The many variations of as-a-service

Beyond just software, as-a-service has truly blossomed across the technology spectrum. Let’s take a look at just some of the variations the cloud can provide:

  • Platform-as-a-Service provides a platform for engineers to create software via the web. This allows developers to build software without worrying about things like updates or infrastructure.
  • Desktop-as-a-Service: VentureBeat poses this question—why can’t you access a desktop or application as easy as you would get a video or article online? DaaS helps employees work wherever they need to be, especially for large companies that have contractors around the world. With Desktop-as-a-Service, employees can use their own devices and log in via an authentication app.
  • Fintech-as-a-Service: As more companies are looking to embed financial services as a part of their technology, Fintech-as-a-Service could be the most logical next step. London-based startup Rapyd’s API lets customers access things like payments, checkout, foreign exchange, and more. The fintech startup shows us just how hot FaaS could be, with a valuation at $1.2 billion.
  • Quantum-Computing-as-a-Service: Believe it or not, Quantum-Computing-as-a-Service is on its way as well. In December, Amazon announced and launched a preview for Amazon Braket, a managed AWS service where users can run simulations on a set of existing quantum computers. The company is also creating the “AWS Center for Quantum Computing”, a lab in California where they can research the calculations.

Learn more about the benefits and the challenges of the SaaS model by clicking here.


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