Karl Marx and SaaS

A copy of this week’s Computer Weekly landed on my desk this morning, open at an article by Nick Booth entitled SaaS weakens IT’s role in business [not yet available online]. Probably the first article to link Karl Marx to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revolution, Nick delivers some very quotable quotes:

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce, according to Karl Marx. Is software as a service a tragi-comic re-run of the application service provider (ASP) model – a lovely idea that did not work in practice?

“The history of IT could be seen as one long class struggle. The workers – led by their departmental heads – struggle to get their hands on the means of production, to which IT limits access. …”

While some cynics dismiss SaaS, Nick points out that SaaS has advanced considerable since the ASP days, and – as I have discussed previously – the futures of many CIOs or IT directors and their departments could depend on how well they incorporate SaaS solutions into their organisations’ workings:

“As early adopters of SaaS know, it has one great advantage – it takes some of the responsibility away from the CIO or head of IT. On the other hand, it has one terrible side-effect – it takes some of the responsibility away from the CIO or head of IT.”

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2008/09/karl-marx-and-saas/

1 comment

    • James Williams on 19 September 2008 at 9:45 am

    It’s not surprising that SaaS is being compared to communism really. SaaS represents the best of the Web; a Web 2.0 progression of what the Web is all about… the Web is *about* communism.
    Let’s forget the reds and the Russians and James Bond and SMERSH here, and remember what communism actually means – working together (in a community). What is the web if not a community? The web IS communism and there’s no escaping it. The reason that SaaS is going to prosper is because it is now free to flourish… the Internet’s up to speed; gone are the days of sitting at a breeze-block monitor waiting an age for your dirty pictures to dribble down the screen – the Internet now truly *is* a “superhighway” of quick communication (another word with the same stem as that dreaded word “communism”) with most offices having broadband and SaaS now truly viable.
    At TheWebService we’re anticipating a sea-change once people cotton on to the possibilities of SaaS… it really is pretty awesome!

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