Since the theme of the first day of PHX Startup Week 2023, we thought we’d talk a little bit about the history of Saas!

Software as a Service (SAAS) is a delivery model for software applications that has revolutionized the way businesses operate. The concept of SAAS has been around for several decades, but it has only gained significant traction in recent years. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of SAAS and how it has evolved over time.

The origins of SAAS can be traced back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, when mainframe computers were the norm. At that time, businesses and organizations used mainframe computers to run their operations and store data. However, these systems were expensive and required significant technical expertise to operate, making them inaccessible to many businesses.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the rise of personal computers and local area networks (LANs) made it possible for businesses to run software on their own systems. However, this model still required significant upfront investments in hardware and software, and businesses needed to have the technical expertise to install and maintain the systems.

The concept of SAAS began to emerge in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as the internet became more widespread and the cost of hardware and software began to decline. The first SAAS solutions were basic and focused on personal productivity tools, such as email and calendars.

Over time, the SAAS model began to evolve, and more advanced applications became available. By the mid-2000s, enterprise software such as customer relationship management (CRM) and human resource management (HRM) systems were being offered as SAAS solutions. This made it possible for businesses of all sizes to access enterprise-level software, regardless of their technical expertise or budget.

The growth of SAAS was also driven by the increasing adoption of cloud computing. The cloud provided the infrastructure needed to deliver software over the internet, making it possible for businesses to access software from any device with an internet connection. This made SAAS solutions more accessible and cost-effective than ever before.

By the 2010s, the SAAS model had become the norm, and businesses of all sizes were using cloud-based software to run their operations. The growth of the SAAS industry was driven by the increasing demand for flexible and scalable solutions, as well as the benefits of cloud computing, including lower costs, ease of use, and automatic updates.

Today, the SAAS industry is valued at billions of dollars and is growing at an incredible pace. The industry is changing the way businesses operate, making it possible for companies of all sizes to access enterprise-level software, regardless of their technical expertise or budget. The future of the industry looks bright, with new innovations and applications emerging all the time, and businesses continuing to adopt SAAS solutions at a rapid pace.

In conclusion, the history of SAAS is a story of evolution and innovation. From its humble beginnings as basic personal productivity tools to its current status as a multi-billion-dollar industry, SAAS has changed the way businesses operate and has provided companies of all sizes with access to enterprise-level software. The future of the industry looks bright, and it will be exciting to see how SAAS continues to evolve and impact the business world in the years to come.