Blue pill or red pill?
2 days ago
Estimates vary, but the global software industry probably generates annual revenues of about $500 billion. Industry analysts are saying that up to 25% of new software sales will be delivered as SaaS within the next few years. That implies a shortfall of some $100 billion of license revenue that won’t be collected upfront any more, along with whatever it takes to buy and set up the infrastructure to operate it — maybe another $100 billion?
These are scary numbers, and others can do a better job than I of validating them, but let’s say they’re even half accurate. Will the industry have enough nerve collectively to fund that revenue gap, not just for a year, but over a period of several years as the big switch to cloud and SaaS accelerates? Especially if such a huge financial shortfall coincides with the tail end of what is starting to look like it will be a deep, traumatizing recession?
And now, with the soaraway online advertising market threatening to stall, comes news that Google's software engineers are going to get less time to spend on pet projects and are being told instead to hunker down and work on money-making tweaks to the core business.