DaaS Is BaaS

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The explosion in enterprise technology over the past decade is perhaps only rivaled by the commensurate explosion in terms. There's no shortage of "as a service" terms today. They include:

  • Software as a service
  • Infrastructure as a service
  • Platform as a service
  • Next generation Big Data Platform as a Service (You know, because this generation's Big Data Platform as a service is so dated.)
  • Database as a service
  • Service as a service

OK, I'm making the last one up.

Omar Tawakol argues for another "as a service" addition in The Next Big Thing In Modern Marketing: Data As A Service :DaaS.

Huh?

I have two problems with the term DaaS. First, is it really necessary? After all, it's already increasingly difficult for IT professionals (never mind the business layperson) to keep track of the tsunami of new tech-laden acronyms. I've argued before that a glut of terms and confusing marketing is inhibiting the adoption of technologies that unleash the power of Big Data. In the late 1990s, chief executives knew what they were buying: ERP, CRM, and BI applications. Someone explain to me the difference between DBaaS and DaaS in plain English.

Let's put that aside for a moment, though. In his piece, Tawakol recommends "separat[ing]the data from the application." How does that work exactly? Is the accounts payable clerk keying numbers directly into a database and circumventing an application's business rules, data quality be damned?

While it may be possible to split the data from application from the data, is this advisable? Shouldn't we be encouraging employees in different lines of business to fish for themselves? No, everyone doesn't need to become a database administrator, but doesn't it behoove all employees to think about the data ramifications of their actions?

Simon Says

I don't mean to skewer Tawakol. To be sure, he isn't the only one ringing the DaaS bell; others have chimed in. And maybe I'm completely missing something here. Still, I question whether much of this is just BaaS (baloney as a service).

Oh, wait. I can't use that term. It's already taken.

Sheesh.

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About Author

Phil Simon

Author, Speaker, and Professor

Phil Simon is a keynote speaker and recognized technology expert. He is the award-winning author of eight management books, most recently Analytics: The Agile Way. His ninth will be Slack For Dummies (April, 2020, Wiley) He consults organizations on matters related to strategy, data, analytics, and technology. His contributions have appeared in The Harvard Business Review, CNN, Wired, The New York Times, and many other sites. He teaches information systems and analytics at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business. He also runs 5marbles, an Agile software-development shop.

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