SaaS 101: What Managers Need to Know: Page 2

Posted February 15, 2007
By

Frank Guerino


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The Benefits of SaaS

There are certain advantages that come with SaaS-based solutions, which you may want to explore and understand before you decide to dive into one. For example:

• Reuse.
• Lower cost solutions.
• Quicker provisioning of solutions.
• Flexible pricing models that fit your growth patterns.
• Better support.
• Better solutions.
• A smaller IT footprint for your enterprise.

Reuse: One of the greatest advantages of SaaS is “reuse,” which in my own opinion really is the foundation for all other benefits of the paradigm. When you buy into using a SaaS solution for your enterprise, you’re ultimately admitting that you’ve chosen not to reinvent the wheel and will simply leverage an existing solution, one that you can implement faster and cheaper, at a minimum, and where the solution will be “good enough,” if not the best.

Lower Cost Solutions: By leveraging SaaS solutions for your enterprise, chances are high that you’re accessing domain specific solutions at a fraction of the cost required for you to implement, provision for, deploy, host, manage, and support such solutions yourself. One of the biggest benefits of SaaS solutions is that they offer very significant economies of scale in pricing. The reason for this is because most SaaS providers can take advantage of “reuse” in their domain space, very easily. For the SaaS solution provider, offering “cookie cutter” solutions that are highly repeatable is the goal. The end result is that they commonly pass the benefits of such reuse on to their customers at very significant cost savings.

Quicker Provisioning of Solutions: One of the beauties of taking advantage of SaaS is that the domain solution you’re about to leverage has already been planned for, designed, provisioned for, implemented, deployed and tested. What this means is that your enterprise can simply tie into an existing solution that’s offered up in a fraction of the time your enterprise would need to implement the solution itself. In the case of most SaaS solutions, the software is already live and ready to be used. The “bottleneck” is nothing but the payment for the service and understanding how you will tie the tool into your own business processes.

Flexible Pricing Models That Fit Your Growth Patterns: When leveraging SaaS based solutions, your enterprise will typically have access to a subscription based and deterministic pricing model that allows you to buy what you need, when you need it. This means that you can match the purchase of software to the growth patterns of your enterprise. As your enterprise grows, you simply turn on new connections, eliminating the need to acquire new infrastructure and resources. As your enterprise shrinks, you turn off connections you don’t need. So you avoid getting stuck with oversized infrastructure and resources that you no longer need but have to continue to manage and support. Again, in either case the time to implement new connections or shut existing ones down is almost instantaneous.

Better Support: When using a SaaS solution, chances are that your enterprise is leveraging solutions that come from, are managed by, and are supported by experts who focus on the domain 24x7. With a SaaS solution, your enterprise is typically tied to a live service provider that, in many ways, acts as a live extension to your own enterprise. Tying to a SaaS provider is, in essence, a very low cost way to extend your enterprise’s resources by simply tapping into another enterprise that has resources focusing on the problem domain – all the time.

A Smaller IT Footprint For Your Enterprise: Since you’re typically pointing a browser to a SaaS provider hosted platform, the most infrastructure you’ll need on your end is the device being used to run your browser and a thin network that gives it access to the internet. This means you don’t have to provision, host, manage, and support your own internal infrastructure. For those enterprises that are small enough that they don’t want to dabble in the complexities of managing their own IT organization, SaaS is definitely an effective option to help ramp up your business solutions, while minimizing your IT footprint.

Frank Guerino is the founder and CEO of TraverseIT, a SaaS-based provider of IT Operations and Information Management Solutions designed to help IT organizations manage themselves more effectively.


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