68 Reasons for SaaS
No question I’ve become a big advocate of Cloud Computing, and in particular of the Software as a Service Delivery Model. There are many reasons for going SaaS -here you will find 68- and not all of them have to do with just costs.
Yes, I’m biased towards recommending Cloud and will do so most of the time, but not always, as long as:
- You can find the right SaaS solution for your business and application requirements, including your critical business processes. Or the SaaS solution allows for enhancing and developing your specific critical business needs.
- There is economic sense (savings, clear return on investment or time for current asset amortization is due) for the adoption or the migration to SaaS, and finally
- When business risks for adoption or migration are low or very low.
So, if there is a good SaaS solution for your critical business needs, and it makes economic sense, and migrating or adopting the solution involves little risk, then I’m going to recommend the SaaS solutions, and if you still need to be evangelized about the reasons why, the following includes a few reasons (68 for now), which I think are self-explanatory and which I have tried to group into categories. I must admit categorization has been a very blurry effort on my side, some reasons probably would need to be in more than one group. This is the list:
a) Direct Costs reasons
- OPEX instead of CAPEX: SaaS is considered a service cost, therefore an operational expense (OPEX) and not capital expenditure (CAPEX)
- Lower initial costs: Don’t have to spend a one-time upfront big software license , so barrier for having best applications is much lower than with On Prem
- SaaS implementation projects are cheaper because there is a 25 to 40% of tasks, especially on the technical side, which are not normally required
- When you subscribe to a SaaS application, you already have the infrastructure included and often the platform (PaaS) for enhancements and development
- Lower overall TCO (compendium of most of the reasons in this post)
b) Convenience at IT Operations reasons
- No need to spend time for selecting the servers for your applications
- No need to spend time for selecting an operating system for your applications
- No need to spend time for selecting the data base for your applications
- No need to spend time for selecting the storage for your servers
- No need for selecting backup hardware and software for your applications
- No need for installing your hardware
- No need for upgrading your hardware
- No need for installing your base server software (operating system, data base, Web servers….)
- No need for upgrading your base server software (operating system, data base, Web servers….)
- No need to install patches for the firmware or the software
- No need for installing your backup & restore software
- No need for testing your backup and restore procedures
- Don’t have to install your main software applications
- Disaster Recovery (DR) generally comes “in the SaaS deal” by default, so no need for a DR consulting project
- No need to contract a DR site
- No need for testing your DR
- System Monitoring is performed by your SaaS vendor
- No need to have a physical shelf ware system in place to organize your software kits
- No need for having a landscape of servers for quality, testing, integration or pre-production systems
- Often SaaS vendors provide for an easy and quick way of having a complete test system, copy of your production system, by the click of a button in the SaaS application
- Elasticity. Many SaaS vendors will adapt to your growing and shrinking application needs, whether might be in terms of supporting less or additional users, or providing less or additional computing power to meet the agreed SLAs.
- No need for extra Data Center Space
- No energy consumption or costs
- Overall, with SaaS your IT infrastructure is highly simplified
c) Maintenance Reasons
- Solving bugs (software errors) and installing patches and updates is done by your SaaS providers
- New releases are included in your subscription
- There are no maintenance fees (they are included in the subscription fees)
- Your minor or major maintenance or upgrades projects are significantly smaller and thus less time consuming and costly than traditional on premises software
- You are not tighten to the traditional product release software models
- In SaaS, System Admin tasks are usually less in number, simpler and less time consuming
- Your software releases are always current
- Your SaaS provider must observe the SLAs with you
- Scalability was never easier
- Your SaaS vendor has to provide an excellent Customer Service at all times to avoid having unsatisfied customers and increased churn rate. They cannot just “sell and go”
d) Security reasons
- Extended security in Data Centers of the public Cloud (SaaS) which comply with security standards certifications that would cost millions for private customers to have in their own data centers
- Business Continuity is better guaranteed in big SaaS vendors that have distributed Data Centers in diverse geographies or around the world, and which can react to DR on an automated fashion.
- SaaS vendors guarantee that their single tenant or multi-tenancy approach will never allow a company to access another’s company data or information.
- Data travels encrypted.
- SaaS vendors provide Single Sign On mechanisms to integrate SaaS and On Premise applications (hybrid clouds).
- SaaS providers are regularly audited by organizations to ensure that they meet the necessary security standards
e) Flexibility and Convenience for SaaS Users
- Browser use is common and widespread, so user adoption is generally faster than with On Premises
- Anywhere, any time and mostly any device access
- Training and enablement are usually quicker and cheaper
- SaaS typically provide a much richer User Experience
- With SaaS, including or integrating external and public Web Services, is typically faster and easier than with on premises apps.
- Personalizing SaaS is easier and often with no need for programming
- Most SaaS providers include some type of “Application or Solution Store” with add on solutions and enhancements by the vendor and its partners that can be directly tested and deployed online.
- SaaS solutions are better prepared for mobility and often mobile solutions are included in your subscription
- Easier to get new functionality faster
- Increased user productivity
f) Strategic Reasons
- Cloud solutions enable to expand your markets quicker, easier, cheaper
- You have more flexibility for growth
- You could open a new office or subsidiary, and can have the solution ready for your users just by having Internet access
- SaaS applications are much better for extended collaboration among businesses and customers
- Better communication and knowledge sharing
- SaaS can increase your Customer Reach and provide a better, or new Customer Experience
- Better application Time to market
- Better solution Time to value
- Enables better and quicker innovation at the companies
- Merger and Acquisitions are technologically easier
- Audit and Compliance of SaaS applications must be provided out of the box
- Being in the Web, your SaaS applications can benefit from Real Time information, and thus you are better informed for taking decisions.
- You can leave if you are not satisfied
There are hundreds or probably thousands of blog posts, documents, whitepapers and analysts’ reports about this subject. For reference reasons I have include a few posts that I found of some interest to support the reasons above:
Author: José A. Hernandez
Follow me at @JAHmyCloud
Miami, April, 2014