SaaS Publishing

A couple of weeks ago I attended a software industry business conference in Atlanta. The hottest topic under discussion was the shift from traditionally licensed, on the desktop, software to Software as a Service, or SaaS.

The SaaS model replaces desktop processing with the work being done by remote servers located “out there” in data centers and accessed via the internet. For those of us who’ve been around the IT industry long enough this is nothing new. It’s reminiscent of the old mainframe / dumb terminal model. The biggest difference is that now the processing power is the responsibility of the software vendor and instead of a dedicated network access is now, theoretically, from anywhere at anytime.

The poster child for SaaS is Salesforce.com, and the seems ideally suited to enterprise wide business systems. But isn’t publishing also an enterprise wide activity (even of 90% of enterprises don’t recognize it as such). Is there a role for a SaaS solution on publishing?

In some ways we already have them, blogs (like this one) and wikis are SaaS models where all the processing, storage and delivery is done via a web server with no specialist editing software on the host machine.

With both blogs and wikis gaining wider adoption in the Corporate Publishing world, will more traditional editing, content management and publishing tools be far behind?

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