Today, on his blog, Sinclair asks:  Can the Fortune 500 Achieve Efficiency through Intra-enterprise SaaS? 

The answer is obviously YES!

A lot of the concepts built in software as service such as multi-tenancy, meta driven customization, self service (try before you buy) are great practices whether you are delivering software over the Internet or Intranet. Granted the economy of scale you can get within an enterprise is not as large than in consumer or LOB over Internet scenarios but they are very real.

The same can me said about Service Deliver Platforms (SDP). Some capabilities of an SDP, e.g. Billing, might not be as important in a intra-enterprise scenario (even though cross charging access to services is an increasing practice in enterprises), but many other aspects of an SDP, for example facilitated on-boarding through a declarative manifest (as described for example in Eugenio's blog here) are very relevant.

I would argue that SaaS is taking the same path than Wiki, blogs etc. These technologies or concepts gained success in the consumer / Internet space first and are now gradually migrating into the enterprise space.

As we mentioned in our paper a few months back, enterprises are spending a lot of cycles understanding how to "consume" software as a service, i.e. the integration and composition challenges of embracing an "extended view" of SOA, including services in their own data center and services in the cloud. But as hinted by Sinclair in his post and based on the numerous discussion I had with Global 1000 companies at various Microsoft executive briefings, there is also a lot of interest in introducing these service delivery best practices in their own software development.

P.S.

As a reminder a lot of these best practices are implemented in LitwareHR our reference implementation available on Codeplex.