In my last blog post I talked in great detail about the way in which organizations need to evaluate and understand the true Total Cost of Services (TCS) when evaluating potential cloud solutions. Once you have a handle on the numbers and the potential impact to your organization’s bottom line, putting together a business case for the potential benefits of SaaS becomes relatively straightforward.
While paybacks and break-even analyses are important, I’d like to give you some other things to consider when evaluating the potential benefits of SaaS, and what those benefits can bring in terms of potentially upgrading the technical infrastructure of your current IT environment. This is with special consideration for SMB’s, which typically lack the deep pockets that some of their larger competitors happen to have.
Some Benefits of SaaS
A vast majority of SaaS applications (including our own PortalGuard Nebula solution) are usually deployed through trusted cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or AT&T. Each provider offers the very latest hardware and software technology currently available in the market, primed and ready for use in a cloud environment.
Case and point: Microsoft’s Cloud Service, Azure, can be configured to include virtual machines set-up in a multi-tenant environment, which can be further configured with 16 cores of processing power, and upwards of 128GB of RAM. Included in these configurations is the ability to image the servers with the latest versions of Windows Server, LINUX or SQL Server – depending on the needs of a particular business. The upfront capital cost for an on-premises server with this kind of capability would exceed well over 15-20 thousand in 2015 US dollars – and that is without factoring in the end-user seat licensing fees.
One of the benefits of SaaS, however, means that you only end up paying for what you actually need and what you actually consume.
Another key consideration is that these same virtual machine (VM) setups are almost always load balanced and fail-over protected to insure both high availability (usually >99.95% uptime) and high system response times (based on the geographical location of the data center chosen). They are also backed up regularly, carry industry leading protection with regards to server hardening and malware protection, and offer the latest AES-256 encryption standards.
The importance of these security considerations cannot be overstated either. In an article regarding the strength and importance of security in the cloud, Symantec quoted researches who stated that, “Security companies develop better protection and criminals develop better malware to bypass it.” It has become a constantly shifting arms race – both sides working to outsmart the other. One of the benefits of SaaS is the constant reaffirmation of security for SMBs and other organizations who may lack to resources to tip the balance in their favor. We all know how important digital security is today, and nobody can afford to skimp on appropriate security measures.
A Timeless Classic
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) published a White Paper a few years back that offers a more comprehensive look at the benefits of SaaS. Even though it’s got some mileage on it, the concepts and considerations that are in this study are still worth a read, as a vast majority of benefits of the topics are still relevant and viable in the current SaaS market.
A portion of my last post was dedicated to note that every business situation is unique, and I stand by that statement today. There isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution, but another one of the benefits of SaaS is that it provides an organization with options. PortalGuard, for example, can be implemented as either a cloud or on-premises solution, and both versions can be tailored specifically to meet the needs of a given environment. We all know the feeling of having to settle for something less than what we need or what we want. We don’t think you should have to.
Whether you have a question regarding our technology, the benefits of SaaS, or you’re just looking for someone to help work through the business case scenarios – just let us know, we’re happy to help.
Let me know what you think about the benefits of Cloud and SaaS in the comments below!