What's SaaS and SOA to a Layman?

I’m currently driving a large automation project and while prepping my team for the technical presentation, I decided to pepper the stuff with some nice buzzwords, something I can use to impress my colleagues. I opened my hat and tossed in some SaaS and SOA.

But a benign spirit warned me not to make a fool of myself and I patiently obeyed; so I looked things up. It seems my mum’s fervently praying for me upstairs. RIP mama!

In a layman’s term SaaS means Software as a Service which means software system not within your network or installed on your PC or phone or any other random computing device. But wait, what of my Gmail and Yahoo email?

Oh, that’s SaaS! You kidding me!

Welcome to planet IT. I used to tell people that IT is a fraud. We come up with a random name to give an old thing and voila, it is as sexy as a lipstick on an 80 year old grandma. Tomorrow we are going to call the sun Self-Sustaining Electromagnetic Wave Generator.

And SOA? It means Service Oriented Architecture. It is a means of getting a remote software system to do some bit of work without itself being a complete usable software. I mean isn’t that DCOM and RPC of yore? Well, something like that but not exactly like that. To be proper SOA it must be independent of any vendor, product or technology. These days most SOA are web service based.

With SOA, a system or platform or software is built out of other reusable components. For example, you could call a Web service that sends email or gives you the exchange rate of a currency at a specific time. It could be used in app A and another unrelated app B.

A SaaS can be built out of an SOA.

Since my integration isn’t going to be hosted outside of the office, I simply chased SaaS out of my presentation and respected myself.

By the way, my descriptions may not be accurate or goofy at best but then, isn’t that what I call fluff?

Is your bank there while you are on the move?

We are always on the move, not because we don’t have anything to do but that’s the reality of our lives in Lagos. We are usually busy, stuck in traffic and when our pretty backsides are stuck in traffic for hours, we end up loving our fondleslabs.

So while in that horrendous traffic, we want to get some things done such as reading the latest gist on Linda Ikeji or transferring money to a pesky cousin. Banking is what we all take seriously because that’s where your liquid livelihood is probably warehoused. We just wanna be able to hit our bank anytime and every time, any day and every day.

If banks understand this (they are supposed to be smart guys, ehn?) then I suppose they should have mobile first strategy. Ok, that’s consultants’ speak (heaven knows I hate that bunch!). The taste of the pudding is in the eating (whosoever came up with that proverb is a wobia!) so I expect that banks should have websites tuned for mobile phones. After all if I need to pay Silifa or find out some random thing about my bank and I’m stuck on Third Mainland Bridge traffic just around Oworo, it’s my unfortunate phone, battery and data permitting, that I will turn to.

So on an unfortunate Saturday while waiting for my friend to come around, I decided to visit banks’ websites with my phone and see how they scale up.
Here we go people:

BankMobile FriendlySecure Website
Access BankYesYes
Diamond BankYesNo
Ecobank NigeriaNoNo
Fidelity Bank PlcYesYes
First Bank of NigeriaYesNo
First City Monument BankNoYes
Guaranty Trust BankYesNo
Heritage Bank LimitedYesNo
Keystone Bank LimitedYesNo
Skye BankNoYes
Stanbic IBTC Bank YesNo
Standard Chartered BankYesYes
Sterling BankYesNo
Union Bank of NigeriaYesNo
United Bank for AfricaNoNo
Unity Bank PlcYesNo
Wema BankYesNo
Zenith BankYesYes 

How did I test?

  • Used Samsung S5
  • Searched for the bank name and clicked on the link
  • Faffing about on April 4, 2015

What’s the secure website about?
It is increasingly common for websites to now default to using just HTTPS for all traffic. It is seen as a sign of understanding the times. However it doesn’t mean that internet banking traffic has been compromised (all banks use HTTPS for their internet banking).