Software as a Service (SaaS) is an “on-demand” software delivery model based on remote applications hosting, from services such email, office automation tools and file managing up to CRM and ERP systems, in most cases those are proprietary software. However, custom applications are also replicating this model including its related services, databases, and security infrastructure on a cloud computing architecture; these services are commonly licensed by subscription, mainly on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
According to Forbes, “Worldwide Public IT Cloud Service Revenue in 2018 is predicted to be $127B. Managed Services is projected to reach $256B by 2018. Emerging markets are predicted to be 21% of the Worldwide Public IT Cloud Services market by 2018. Source: Microsoft Cloud Landscape Update, 2015, (RHP).”
But, are SaaS and cloud computing just a trend or it is going to stick? Is it a good decision for my business over hosting my applications on local servers inside my offices?
Think about a startup company, unless they have Warren Buffett or someone like him sponsoring their business and investing in infrastructure, do you think they will be able to build a better one than the one companies such as Google or Amazon can offer within a budget? And it is not the only infrastructure we need to consider, there are tons of applications out there ready to be used, complete sets of tools and collaborative suites mounted on the cloud, accessible from everywhere with an Internet connection. Seems fair enough? I’m just getting started.
Among many things, cloud computing enables immediate access to mission-critical workloads infrastructure, massive transactional volume scalability and serverless big data analytics on a proved and supported platform, it grants access to retail and wholesale commerce tools, Websites, Web Apps and even DevOps suites ready to start collaborating in a blink.
The idea that your software and information are more secure inside your offices than in the cloud is more a delusion than a reality nowadays. Big players on SaaS like Salesforce.com, Concur, Oracle, NetSuite and Workday among others, have created a highly secure environment, which guarantees not only that the information will be safe, but that it will be available whenever you need it as they count with multiple and redundant connections, servers, backups and 24/7 support and monitoring which enable them to deliver a reliable service.
In my opinion, SaaS and cloud computing are here for good and definitely represent a great opportunity over local servers. This represents a huge benefit especially for startups and small-mid businesses, which won't need to worry about having their own infrastructure to support their operations, or overly securing their software and sensitive information from all sorts of threats from power outages, to natural disasters and of course hacking. Why spend money on a local site, configure servers and services or build applications from scratch when you need to think about your product, your customers, and the value your business may add to them?