10 Signs that It May be Time to Consider Software as a Service (SaaS)

Updated: August 03, 2009

Software as a service (SaaS) enables organizations to take advantage of critical functions and services without building, expanding or operating computing hardware, software or infrastructures. SaaS is the most widely used and mature element of the evolving set of resources known as "cloud computing," and often takes advantage of cloud-based computing, storage and management resources to deliver its business benefits. However, SaaS is by no means a panacea. Business and technology decision-makers must examine and prioritize organizational needs and constraints to decide effectively whether and where SaaS can improve business operations.

As with transitions such as remotely managed shared or dedicated Web hosting, SaaS decisions should not be taken lightly. Whether or not SaaS will benefit your organization depends on multiple factors. Most of which center around the specific needs, goals and constraints affecting you and your organization, as do the 10 statements below. The more statements with which you agree, the more likely it is that it's time to look at some candidate SaaS solutions.

2. IT capital and/or staffing expenditures are rising/continuing to rise at my organization.

If one of the reasons businesses invest in IT is to increase organizational operational efficiency, shouldn't IT costs go down, not up, as the business becomes more IT-dependent? Whether you believe they should or not, it's likely that you and/or your boss is always interested in reducing costs, or at least attenuating their growth rates. SaaS can help you achieve both goals, when applied to the right situations.

3. There are physical limits to my organization's ability to grow and/or improve its IT resources.

Even companies with well-designed, incredibly efficient server closets or data centers are increasingly running out of room, access to sufficient power and cooling, or some combination of all of the above. SaaS solutions can help here, by enabling improvement of computing resources with no additional premises-based hardware.

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