Over the years we’ve had numerous enquiries from law firms who wish to automate documents in a more efficient way. More recently however, more companies have started to contact us in order to automate the creation of other documents including quotations, personalised brochures, manuals, etc. This seems to reflect a shift in the way companies are starting to engage with websites. Users are no longer just going to websites to read about the features of a product or service that might be available for download and installation. They want to start interacting with websites that offer services that will become part of an overall technology strategy.
Web 2.0 along with the adoption of AJAX became a term for something that was being done for many years previously but encapsulated an industry trend at the time. The move to the cloud was and is similar – sites such as Salesforce and Xero spearheaded software as a service where in-house installation and maintenance could be minimised in a few clicks.
The current trend that seems to be emerging is being defined not by users who are working in isolation, but by technology architects and managers who wish to use disparate services as part of an overall strategy. Sure, there are security and data location concerns but I believe this is like the move to web 2.0 – more of a shift in perception than any major technology advances per se. That’s not to minimise the importance of security but more a realisation that security like charity begins at home – more security issues appear to originate internally than from hackers.
I’ve been surprised by some conversations I’ve had lately with financial services companies. It’s not that they aren’t worried about cloud service security, they are and should be, but they don’t see this as a barrier to adoption. If they can be convinced that a service operates a secure service, the benefits to the organisation are too great to be ignored. I intend to challenge more people I know on pre-conceived notions of Saas services that may have existed to date to test what I have encountered lately in order to see if this is a more general trend.