Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fall is a season not the future of SaaS

I recently read a TechCrunch article titled: The Rise of Big Data Apps and the Fall of SaaS written by Raj De Datta.

I do agree with the prefix. As far as the suffix is concerned, I can only explain why Raj De Datta's opinion is wrong. 

I usually tend not to agree with statements about premature End of Life of technologies or architectures or trends.

In most cases, it easier to kill a concept in writing, than to persuade a large number of users to change their habits.

The root of the opinion that Business Logic Centered Applications are in conflict with Data Centered Applications, derived from specialization of IT experts. The approach of experts specialized in Data is different from the approach experts specialized in Applications.

I also read an interesting related Gartner Research Note titled: Overlaps in Data Integration and Application Integration Represent Significant Opportunities. This Research Note written by Gartner's Analysts Ted Friedman and Jess Thompson, was published in November 2011.

According to Friedman and Thompson, Data Integration and Application Integration deploy different approaches but there is a lot of synergy between these Integration types.

Each of these approaches deploy different features (e.g. Modeling Metadata for the Data centric approach and Message based Transformation for the Application Centric approach), but they share many common features such as Communication or Security.

Each of them is related to different Problem Types or Use Cases (e.g. Composite Applications in the Application Centric approach and Data  preparation in BI/Analytics for the Data centric approach), but they share common Problem Types and Use Cases such as MDM or SOA Support.

Friedman and Thompson conclude that leveraging the communalities could provide Business Value. 

My Take

  • As you can see in the illustration in the beginning of this post, Big Data and SaaS are not competing technologies. It is possible to use any variety of data kinds in SaaS services, including Big Data. Big Data Apps, i.e. applications using large amounts of data, could reside in a Public Cloud.
  • It may be useful to extend Gartner's analysts,  Friedman and Thompson analysis, beyond Integration issues.  Combining Raj De Datta's Big Data, Data Centered approach with SaaS (Applications Centric approach) could provide Business Value.
  • It should be noticed that the boarders between Big Data and other Data are blurred. The boarders between Data Centric applications (Including Big Data Applications) and Business Logic Centric Applications are also blurred     



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