IT services used by companies are moving to the cloud at an accelerating rate. According to Gartner’s forecast, the global use of public clouds will increase by 21% this year. The largest share of total growth comes from Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, and the market is expected to grow further by 18% next year.
This development will certainly come as no surprise to anyone following the industry. Often when purchasing a new business application, companies first see whether they can find a suitable solution as a SaaS service, and only then are other options considered. This is natural, as the benefits of the SaaS model are undeniable: scalability, predictable costs without one-time investments, clearer responsibilities, and lower total costs.
In many cases, in addition to costs, a clear division of responsibilities becomes the most significant tangible benefit. The supplier is responsible for the operation of the application as a whole. From the customer’s point of view, this significantly reduces maintenance-related work and streamlines operations in fault situations.
Of course, we must remember that new operating models impose new requirements for both supplier and customer. Firstly, moving business-critical applications to the cloud increases the importance of highly reliable information network. Capacity requirements are rising, and adequate fault tolerance must be taken into account. Another important area that will be the customer’s responsibility is access management. In the SaaS model, the role of access management becomes even more important, as services are no longer covered by security controls that protect the internal network.
On the other hand, the SaaS model also makes high-level technical protection and fault tolerance accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises. When studying data leak cases in more detail, it can be seen that it is more common for the leaked system to be located on the premises of the company than in the cloud.
The SaaS model alone does not automatically make a software good or bad. It is also common to think that it is not worth fixing something that is not broken.
When, then, is the right time to move to the cloud? Below are some thoughts:
- When the current environment requires extensive updates for either the platform or the software and some components may no longer be supported by the manufacturer.
- When the company is rapidly growing and expanding its operations internationally.
- When the IT organization cannot meet business requirements quickly enough. Moving the SaaS model will free up IT resources from maintenance to development work.
- When the current environment does not meet the business continuity requirements without significant investments.
- When the transition to the SaaS model would result in significant cost savings. When comparing the costs, it is worth remembering that the monthly charge for the SaaS software usually replaces all software and database license costs, as well as the costs related to the platform, maintenance and possible equipment. Also, SaaS will decrease the need for internal resources, which is good to take into account when estimating the overall costs.
It is often thought that SaaS is synonymous with a standard application. In the manufacturing industry, however, it is important to adapt the systems to the company’s processes as far as possible. This, for its part, has slowed down the transition to the SaaS model.
Roima has a solution to this. Roima Lean System ERP offers the best of both worlds, on-premises and SaaS models. The solution is modular and flexibly parameterized to meet the company’s business needs. At the same time, it offers the full benefits of the SaaS model.