While the IIA is busy digitizing the nation this week, let’s roll back 25 years when a previous digital revolution was lapping our shores. Readers of a certain age will instantly recognize the picture of WordStar, doing roughly what Microsoft Word does today. I say ‘roughly’ as WordStar belonged to an era without touchscreen or Mice, and where users had to had to use ‘ctrl-s’ and ‘ctrl-d’ to move right and left. While WordStar users understood copy and paste to mean actual glue and scissors, it was so dominant that even as a business studies student in the ‘90s, we were expected to pass an exam in its use.
So why do you now (most likely) use Microsoft Word instead ? The answer is Windows 3.1. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t even the first computer to use a mouse – but Windows was a revolution for mainstream computers. While there was (and still is) a version of Wordstar for Windows, when the dust had settled MS Word had came out on top.
Right now another revolution is happening as computing moves from your desktop to Cloud Services delivered over the internet. This time the revolution is bigger; Computers are more widespread, other devices (such as Mobile, iPads and Netbooks) are hooked up to internet, and the revolution will transform more sectors of the economy. It would be a pity if we digitized the nation, only to leave traditional software companies behind on the desktop.
The IIA Cloud paper shows as many opportunities as threats in this Software as a Service (SaaS) revolution. As a key driver of Exports, and export led jobs, Enterprise Ireland wants to help software companies to seize the opportunities. In the next part of the it’s ongoing SaaS activities (including the well regarded SaaS transition programme) Enterprise Ireland has two upcoming events to help Irish Software Companies;
- On May 19th, Companies can learn about how their business model needs to react to implement software as a service (Event: The Commercial Realities of Sofware as a Service). Speakers include John Appleby of SaasPoint, Gerry O’Connor of Zarion , Philip O’Doherty of eSpatial and Charles Cameron of Encore Ventures.
- On June 16th, it’s the turn of the Mananged Services (Event: Managed Services and the Cloud). Alongside speakers from Finance and PA Consulting, with be Gerry Power, Chair of the IIA’s cloud working group.