Back in 98 when I signed up for a web hosting solution, I was paying about $30 a month with very little hard-disk (in MBs), bandwidth (MBs again) and CPUs (probably also in MHz though I don’t remember) shared by many others like me. But for the last two years, I have a hosting account for which I pay about $8 a month with unlimited hard-disk and bandwidth and much better CPU and what’s more unlimited domains and databases and on and on.
Yesterday I found that one of the SAAS vendors was using another SAAS vendor for one of their online services. And the pricing was about $19.95/month per single agent. That’s when I realized that in a decade from now, the SAAS landscape is going to evolve in ways similar to the web hosting solutions.
There are going to be big players and then there are going to be smaller ones. The reason why some web hosting providers are able to offer the “unlimited” promises are because they know that more than 90% of the small startups don’t use even 1% of what they were being allocated. So, collectively it would seem like unlimited resources.
Right now a lot will be invested in defining a SAAS platform and infrastructure. But in a couple of years, hopefully people will rely on more standard components. One great example I can think of is the cpanel. Today most web hosting solutions provide cpanel to manage the account. Anyone switching a hosting provider usually doesn’t have to learn a new system to manage the account. Eventually SAAS will evolve to this stage and at that time, the SAAS solutions will be offered with the “unlimited” offering and very cheap prices.
Ofcourse, just like the dedicated hosting solutions are still expensive, there will be SAAS offerings for high-end customers who would pay more.