Enterprise cloud computing and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) are more a product of business evolutionary necessity than invention. Economic realities have forced companies to reduce costs while maximizing their resources used for critical tasks. Several factors have shaped the direction IT departments have taken toward SaaS:
• Shifting software licensing models
• Abbreviated product cycles
• Increasing global competition
• Need to control IT costs for infrastructure and trained technical personnel
Cloud computing provided IT what they had been needing for some time: a dependable approach to expansion of capabilities and capacity without having to stop business in the interim. More significantly, it allowed this to happen without the normal expenditure of time and resources to add new infrastructure, acquire new software license, or training personnel.
The enterprise cloud approach ensures a consistency that enables businesses to guarantee service and security that was not previously cost effective. Because of the success of vendors like SalesForce, NetSuite, and many others thousands of businesses are quickly moving to find their place in the cloud.
The Advantages of SaaS
Software-as-a-Service deliverers a browser based single application to a large pool of end users. The advantage to customer is no need for software licensing or large investments in on-site severs. SaaS is truly a win-win. The provider reaps significant benefits as well. Instead of offering the old hosting model, the vendor has to maintain one application thus keeping costs to a minimum.
Main Features of SaaS Solutions:
•Responsive Development – Because SaaS takes place in the cloud, individuals and departments of a business can collaborate regardless of geographic location. This speeds up development cycles, increases productivity, and raises profits.
•Continuous Improvement – SaaS project cycles are much shorter and therefore allow a company to make changes it normally would find cost prohibitive. This allows a company to be more responsive to changes in the economy and competition.
•Flexible Pricing –It is much easier for a business to budget when using SaaS. There are few hidden costs and changes in service can be made monthly if needed.
Main Benefits of Subscribing to SaaS:
•Management can concentrate on its core business rather than IT concerns. More of the budget can be allocated to customer service and revenue production.
•The total cost of a SaaS software solution can be 50% less than an on-site solution.
•Turnaround time is dramatically reduced.
•Application enhancements are provided via a subscription that is often included in the initial cost.
•Flexibility and scalability.
•Superior service and support.
•Superior back-up/recovery and security.
In this global economy there is a continuing trend toward offshore development. Enterprise cloud computing with SaaS crosses language and culture barriers ensuring a company can conduct business efficiently wherever operations are located.
Back to the Future
SaaS was born in business and sales departments that were frustrated with how unresponsive IT departments often seemed to be. One answer was to turn to off-site application service providers that could offer solutions they could implement quickly and efficiently. Today, IT departments are beginning to take the lead with SaaS solutions so they can ensure standards and security in using the new solutions in the cloud.