On the eve of the millennium, a shot was fired that barely registered inside the walls of datacenters. Launched in 1999, Salesforce.com would go from being yet another dotcom to reshaping the way businesses buy and deploy software. Its “no software” campaign really meant no software running in your datacenter.
It pushed CRM software out of the datacenter and into the cloud. In its wake, a new category would emerge. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) quickly spread way beyond CRM to assimilate other software packages, leaving behind a graveyard of once-mighty software empires. Siebel who? But plenty of big iron remained in place, unruffled by the limited power available to software that runs too far away from the datacenter, where most data still lives. In the end, SaaS has only managed to capture a sliver of the data necessary to run most businesses.