Online SaaS Software vs. Onsite software

by admin on February 12, 2009

Increasingly most prospects we speak to are willing to consider our software as a traditional onsite solution (i.e. upfront licensed purchase) or as a hosted service (SaaS / Software-as-a-Service / Online software). For many, hosted software is something new to them and they often like us to summarise the benefits. So here they are:

  • Agility.  You will typically be up and running faster with hosted software than software installed onsite.
  • Scalability. Any decent SaaS vendor should have spare capacity in their infrastructure. They should also be able to add additional capacity very quickly. Meaning if you need to scale it should be a matter of just purchasing additional licenses or subscriptions.
  • Less technical hurdles. Let’s say you work in the marketing department and you want to bring in some project management software. The traditional route would be to have your IT department install and manage it for you. Getting the techs involved to evaluate and install the software will take months. They may not like it, but with SaaS you can often sneak it “under the radar”.
  • Turn the tap on and off. Take our software iPlanWare which aids project portfolio management. Some organisations just need to use our software for a limited time period or need to vary the number of users based on their business cycles and project wins. Our online project management software makes this possible.
  • Up to date software. Whether we like it or not, all software has bugs. With installed software you have to wait for your techs to install periodic upgrades and fixes. With SaaS the vendor will normally manage the upgrade process for you.
  • No upfront spend. SaaS software is typically subscription based so no upfront costs. We are not saying that SaaS will cost you less in the long run - in fact we think the long term costs are pretty much the same as installed software. But you don’t have a big capital outlay upfront.
  • Less risk. Following on from the point above. Buying software is a risk – it may not work as expected, adoption may be poor – any number of problems. Why not test the water. With most SaaS software the minimum commitment is normally a year. If it doesn’t work you have invested a lot less than with an upfront purchase.
  • Doing the deal. Most upfront software purchases come from Capex budgets (Capital Expenditure). Subscriptions for software are normally from Opex (Operational Expenditure). Getting Opex approved is normally easier and quicker. So if you need that software in quickly this alone can make a big difference.
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