Thursday, January 3, 2013

SaaS Views

Implementing Software as a Service (SaaS) into an existing business model can offer many advantages, but the entity must consider both the advantages and disadvantages of SaaS along with the overall effect of the implementation to their business. (2012) highlights the advantages of adding SaaS to a corporation’s business model. Some of the perks include cost cutting measures, scalability, data protection, guaranteed service, always upgraded, information sharing, flexibility, and usability. According to the blog, SaaS is a lucrative option for a sound and cost effective IT support solution. Buyya, Broberg, and Goscinski (2011) point out similar advantages: scalability, flexibility, ease of accessibility and configurability, robust, secure, and affordable. They also state that SaaS affords “… a seamlessly and spontaneously coexist, correlate, and coordinate with one another dynamically with dexterity to understand one or more users’ needs, conceive, construct, and deliver them at right time at right place. Anytime anywhere computing tends towards everywhere every time and everything computing” (p. 59).

On the other hand, Buyya, Broberg, and Goscinski (2011) mention that the disadvantages must weigh into the decision as well. They cite controllability, visibility, security and privacy, availability, performance, integration, and standards as possible challenges of the SaaS paradigm integration. The CloudComputingTopics blog echoes similar concerns with SaaS implementation: security, capital outlay, disaster recovery, and deployment. If a large business already has the infrastructure in place along with the customized applications and the solution works well, the experts suggest avoiding SaaS unless the entity is considering end of lifing the existing solution or looking to upgrade.
Within the SaaS paradigm, entities must examine both the advantages and disadvantages before adoption. To recap, small to medium businesses who struggle to afford and in house customized software or large businesses looking to upgrade should consider a SaaS solution. SaaS offers cost cutting measures from the purchase of overhead infrastructure to support software, flexibility of scaling the solution during the peaks and troughs of demand cycles, and guaranteed up time by the vendor. However for large business who already have an existing infrastructure, they may not elect to use SaaS, because the existing solution already meets their needs.

One final element to consider when investigating cloud solution involves awareness of space. Business requires a place to call home, even if the employees travel nonstop and are stationed across the world. The employees need to find a place to call home or to identify as I work for them. These identification mechanisms are the awareness of place. A SaaS solution adopted by an entire entity can provide this awareness of place. Taun’s (1977) chapter, Attachment to Homeland, discusses various groups and time periods and their attachment to their homeland. He provides examples and illustrates the need to identify with a place. This awareness of place grows strong in the human spirit and continues to exhibit the same characteristics in today’s society. Our awareness of place still embodies a physical place, but has also started to exemplify a digital reality. A common business web portal or SaaS solution that has been customized for a business can now be called our homeland. We feel secure to log into this portal to do work as we travel around the world to complete our jobs. Awareness of place holds a strong piece of the puzzle when deciding to replace an existing solution to a SaaS solution.

4 reasons why businesses might not want to switch to the cloud. (2012). Retrieved November 15, 2012.

Buyya, R., Broberg, J., & Goscinski, A. (2011). Cloud computing. Hoboken, New Jersey, United States of America: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

SaaS – Why does your business need it? (2012). Retrieved November 15, 2012.

Tuan, Yi-fu. (1977). Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN.

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