Computing was some pretty exciting stuff for those of us back in the 80s who still remember the first time we booted up our 386DX. That’s right, the “DX”, not the “MX”. While nobody could really say what the advantages of the “DX” were, better at math or something, we still ponied up the extra $200 USD to pick up that 386DX 16Mhz along with a Super VGA graphics card, then hooked that bad boy up to CompuServe via our lightning fast 14,400 baud U.S. Robotics “Sportster” modem. That was well before Al Gore created the Internet, and a lot has changed since then. Personal computing just isn’t cool anymore and it’s all about “the cloud” and “big data” and “deep learning”. Confused by all this new nomenclature? So are we, so let’s go through and define some of these terms and what they mean for investors.
“The Cloud” – The idea here is that instead of purchasing applications then installing them onto a computer, you lease the applications on demand and access them over the internet. That’s it. That’s “the cloud”. You may have heard of the term “software as a service” with the cool abbreviation “SaaS”. That’s essentially the same thing. It’s centrally hosted software available via a subscription service. This ship has already sailed for investors with companies like CRM SaaS provider Salesforce.com showing a 10-year return of +780%. “The cloud” and “SaaS” are old news for investors looking for the next big thing in computing.