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Wednesday, 15 December 2010 09:14

Is Software as a Service (SaaS) a Passing Fad?

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I’ve heard people say that Software as a service (SaaS) is the “best thing since life’s bread” and I’ve also heard others claim that it’s just the newest thing and it will pass.

The best analysis I’ve seen on the subject came from an associate of mine, Pat Gray, in his blog on “Cloud Computing for Mere Mortals”.

His analogy was that determining whether SaaS is right for your company is the same as making a “make/buy” decision when procuring product for a company. You have to take a look at the ENTIRE picture (cost, strategy, capabilities…) to determine the right course of action.

For instance, if I’m selling coffee, then I need to look at the costs of procuring it from the various sources out there, or is it more economical for me to purchase a coffee plantation in South America and make my own beans? If I’m not really in the business of managing coffee growers directly, then why don’t I focus on what I’m good at, the marketing and sale of coffee, rather than the actual manufacturing of it?

Dynamics GP vs. Hosted Dynamics GP

This is the same analysis I need to do when evaluating whether to purchase Dynamics GP or subscribe to Hosted (SaaS) Dynamics GP:

- Do I have the appropriate server to run the software or do I need to purchase one?

- Do I have the technical expertise in house to manage the upgrades, patches and backups necessary for a world-class software such as this?

- Am I comfortable with my data to be housed outside of my facility?

- Finally, what is my capital budget like for this type of purchase and what’s the break-even if I host it vs purchase it?

Making a decision to host or purchase Dynamics GP is no different than deciding to manufacture coffee or just sell and market it. Focus on what your expertise is and leave the superfluous details to others.

Because people have been making “make vs buy” decisions for hundreds of years, I see SaaS as just another option, or another method of deploying software. With that in mind, I seriously doubt that SaaS is a passing fad. It’s definitely here to stay, and according to some, may overtake on-premise software someday.

To learn more about the options for hosting or purchasing Dynamics GP, please visit our website or contact us.

By Andrew King, WebSan Solutions Inc.

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