Christofer Hoff wrote an interesting blog post entitled: Incomplete Thought: Forget VM Sprawl, Worry More About SaaSprawl…
In it he talks about businesses purchasing SaaS from countless vendors and essentially replacing capital expenditures with operational expenditures.
Libraries of course experienced something like that when publishing moved to the web. We used to get physical copies of our journals, had to pay for their subscription, processing and storage. But then publishers began selling electronic copies of their journals. While this seemed like a great idea at first, the reality is that we are spending more money but getting fewer journals (or just getting completely screwed…depending on how you look at it).
So perhaps Hoff is right. Perhaps if we begin using the cloud for our systems and services, we’re just trading one expenditure for another. The question is can we keep up with that rate of expenditure and its ever increasing cost, especially when uncertain financial times roll around.