The top 25 newsmakers of 2007 – Number 15: Mark Scott

Before Mark Scott coined the acronym HaaS, the market was all abuzz about SaaS. No one really gave hardware-as-a-service a second thought.

Scott, the former CEO of managed services provider N-Able Technologies of Ottawa, changed the way hardware along with software is delivered and consumed.

His start up, The Utility Company Ltd., redefined outdated business models for the SMB sector.

Scott believes the industry will transition to utility computing the way the SaaS has emerged in recent years.

Microsoft, Google and hardware vendors pushing virtualization are furthering the per use, per month utility model for the industry, he believes.

“The whole idea for the Utility Co. has a lot to do with what I have seen in the market today and in enabling businesses. There is a titanic shift towards the utility model with Microsoft Live and the Google desktop. We are in the early stages of adoption,” Scott said.

The Utility Co. has three points of value, he said. The first is technology-as-a-service in a per user, per month model. The second is a “beyond managed services” franchise system. And lastly there is a connected office product offering.

These three offerings try to address two major problems SMBs have today, Scott said.

One is over-spending. Citing research studies from Gartner and Forrester along with information from author Nicolas Carr, Scott believes the average business spends $360 per user per month on technology for an industry total of $400 billion annually.

The second problem is of that money spent on IT, only 15 per cent of it is actually being utilized by the businesses.

The technology-as-a-service model attempts to address the under-utilization issue.

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