Software as a Service or SaaS has become an established way of working where instead of buying servers, operating systems and software, you lease software over the web on a monthly basis allowing you to scale up or down as you need. It took time for corporate IT departments to embrace the concept but thankfully champions like Marc Benioff the CEO of Salesforce.com perservered during numerous economic downturns to allow the concept to gain traction.
The idea of SaaS is simple - you share infrastructure but gain all the benefits of having secure and reliable computing in a more cost-effective fashion.
In a recent conversation with Iridium's Greg Ewert, the Executive Vice President of Global Distribution and Business Development for the company, He explained that Iridium is beginning to roll out the idea of Satellite as a Service where government bodies can work with his company to purchase portions of a satellite, share the rockets, etc.
The value proposition is the same as it is in the software world and you can expect applications where security is not as much of an issue such as weather to be the first to migrate to this new idea. Of course national security projects will likely not go the hosted route in the foreseeable future but imagine now how many more applications will get rolled out now that the cost has come down via this approach.
Iridium also sees itself as a major force in the M2M space as only 10% of the world's land mass is covered by cellular. They are already having success helping with the information flow in supply chains, sending data from remote windmills in the ocean and numerous other applications. Greg seems confident the company has great potential to expand based upon their price/performance, latency and packet performance.
I left the meeting impressed and you can check out the video for yourself to learn more.