The following is a guest posting by Ken Heyward, CEO of vcopious, a leading “virtual environment” software platform company.
As demand in the SaaS market grows, the number of vendors has significantly increased, making the choice of vendor a difficult one. Technology norms are shifting at a rapid pace and IT departments must strategically react. At first blush, IT departments may be overwhelmed by the scenario of having to deal with two separate and seemingly competing platforms, SaaS and On-Premise. However, making a hard and fast decision as to which one of the two options to choose may not be necessary. A flexible solution, which incorporates both SaaS and On-Premise, might be most appropriate.
Realistically, most companies realize that at least some SaaS-based solutions will be a permanent part of their application portfolio. SaaS-based solutions address urgent software needs, start-up costs are low, and a lack of IT infrastructure and integration with other in-house systems is not an issue. On the other hand, On-Premise models do a better job of securing data, as the platform is owned by the user and installed on a company’s own network. In addition, system crashes, reboots and downtime are limited because applications are in isolated mode.
Is one really better than the other?
Before making the decision between SaaS or On-Premise platforms, companies must assess their business and financial needs as well as their infrastructure. Then, the question isn’t whether SaaS or On-Premise is better, but rather, how to find a balance between both delivery models and adapt accordingly? Rather than limit possibilities, finding a single vendor that has the ability to offer multiple solutions allows a company to maximize the benefits of both SaaS and On-Premise platforms. This flexible platform allows companies to deploy each platform in a manner that meets their evolving needs. Flexible deployment also allows companies to run the licensed software in both environments and even port the platform back and forth as business requirements evolve. With this option, companies even have the ability to run reports on data in both locations from one centralized dashboard.
As Cloud Computing evolves, IT departments will continue to be presented with an increased number of vendors and solutions from which to choose. By taking a long-term approach in assessing business, financial and infrastructure needs, it becomes obvious that choosing a vendor who can offer a flexible platform allows companies more control to choose for themselves the most appropriate model to meet their needs.
To download the white paper “Flexible Platforms in a Virtual World,” which includes a case study on SAP and the 2010 SAPPHIRE NOW conference, please click here.