Lisa Hoover 0 Junior Poster

Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the new corporate catch-phrases that many claim reduces a businesses operating costs while increasing its efficiency. The jury is still out on just how effective it is, but you know you a business concept has arrived when it gets its own conference.

For the uninitiated, SaaS takes the old-school idea of buying a DVD full of business applications and turns it on its ear. Rather than shopping around for the lowest price on, say, a boxed content management system, an increasing amount of CIOs are opting to purchase a service contract from an online vendor who will provide not only the application, but also maintenance, support, and all the attendant headaches that go along with managing vast amounts of data with a single piece of software.

Market intelligence consultant IDC is sponsoring "The IDC SaaS Summit: Delivering Business Innovation within the New Paradigm," slated to be held next month in San Francisco, CA.

The event aims to educate IT managers and CIOs about "the opportunities and challenges that SaaS brings to the enterprise." Topics include:

  • How Web services platforms can solve integration problems
  • Transitioning the front office into a SaaS environment
  • Risks associated with using SaaS
  • Best practices for using evaluating and selecting SaaS

Organizers say the conference is building on the success and momentum of the first annual IDC SaaS Summit held earlier this year, but IDC has been a longtime proponent of the use of SaaS in the workplace. Back in early 2006, when the concept was still in its infancy, IDC even offered up a list top ten predictions for it.

In today's age of high-speed connections, wireless networking, telecommuting, and cloud computing, it's not hard to believe that SaaS has taken off like it has, but is a whole summit on the concept necessary? Many people find conferences useful for digging deep into the technology companies are using, but isn't whole point of farming out business apps to SaaS vendors to save time and headaches? Does your company use Software as a Service? Is a conference like this helpful?

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