Katherine Noyes, in a recent piece for the Australian edition of CIO, cuts through the hype surrounding the latest and greatest iteration of Microsoft’s venerable Internet Explorer. According to Noyes, IE9 may feature a bunch of gee-whizzy innovation (some might say “me-too imitation”), but it also ignores the legions of steadfast Windows XP users who’d undoubtedly want to take advantage of features like hardware acceleration and HTML5 support.
While no OS version can, or should, be supported forever, Microsoft’s move comes off as yet another attempt to move customers further along the groove they got into when they committed to the Windows ecosystem (read: upgrade to Windows 7 already!). Not that there’s anything wrong with that: Microsoft is a for-profit enterprise, after all, and the groove we’re talking about here is not exclusive to Windows.
Admittedly, Microsoft can’t really do anything these days without getting pasted in the press, but the brand-new IE9 does make a person think about the age-old hardware/software upgrade problem — and how to get out of the groove created by a never-ending, self-perpetuating series of “if this, then that” purchases.
Bring A Browser. SaaS Takes Care of the Rest.
Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a compelling option for businesses looking for a way out of their upgrade grooves. Want to continue soldiering on with Windows XP? Fine. Prefer OS X or a Linux distribution? Also fine. Want to dump the whole PC-on-a-desk paradigm and go completely mobile with iPads, Android tablets, and/or smartphones? As long as you’ve got a decent Internet connection and a supported browser (read: pretty much any browser), you’re good to go. With SaaS, you’re free from dependence on any particular platform, and upgrades just “happen” without any effort on your part.
But what about dependence on a particular SaaS solution? True, there’s some degree of that, but you’re always free to switch to an equivalent SaaS offering, usually at a much lower cost, much more quickly, and with much less hassle than you’d face when switching or upgrading on-premise systems, even considering data migration.
Instead of herding you down a groove dug out by your past software and hardware investments, SaaS gives you a multitude of paths to choose from and the freedom and flexibility to choose the one that best suits your business at any given time. And that’s an upgrade that makes sense for every business.