Software as a service

Understanding your options

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The ‘as-a-service’ delivery model can achieve real efficiencies. But many organisations have concerns about the lack of control that comes from outsourcing key applications.

This introductory paper explains the jargon behind software as a service (SaaS) and associated concepts such as cloud computing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). It goes on to look at the benefits and risks involved, and asks: is it better to access applications from a hosted, centralised software provider, or should organisations continue with internal delivery?

Individual organisations need to decide which model best suits their needs. If the benefits of SaaS look appealing, it’s vital to develop a robust business case to test out the options. This paper advises on the considerations when building a business case, and outlines some of the key benefits for those who pursue SaaS, including:

  • reduced capital spending
  • reduced management costs
  • elimination of software licensing issues
  • defined service levels
  • reduced need for ICT resources.

It also highlights some of the issues around moving to an SaaS model, and warns that such a service will need careful migration planning and close contractual management from in-house staff.

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