I just read a post on ZDNet where Lawson's CEO Harry Debes claims that SaaS is a failure and that it will die in two years. He also comments that people (meaning me and you) "are stupid" and "make the same mistakes over and over". Another great comment is that he complains how SaaS does not allow vendors to lock in its customers:
Getting signed up as a SaaS customer is fast, but getting out is just as fast. Whereas traditional software is like cocaine--you're hooked. It's too difficult and expensive to switch providers once you've invested in one.
Wow! How customer focused is this guy? I guess this explains why the previous version of Lawson required users to have a Unix login and a telnet session and why the product was still based on Cobol. I worked at a place that used Lawson and I was stunned by how far behind the product was from an architectural standpoint. Now I understand why.
The criticism that this guy makes towards the technology is that same old resistance to change that stalls innovation. We see it with SOA, Cloud Computing, and other initiatives that are innovative and require people to change their ways. There are leaders, followers, and stragglers. This guy is definitely a straggler and may severely hurt his company and his shareholders with his closed minded approach to technology, especially if he is wrong!
In closing, my favorite comment in response to the article is by CEO John Grabski of ClearMomentum....
I hope there are more CEOs out there with the same view. Taking their customers is like shooting fish in a barrel.As a great leader said recently, "Enough!"