How SaaS is Changing Traditional Delivery Models of Software Businesses

How SaaS is Changing Traditional Delivery Models of Software Businesses
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 19 Dec 2015

Cloud computing has taken off at unprecedented levels and together with mobile technologies; it is responsible for disrupting the IT world as we knew it. Today, we are moving away from the on-premise or traditional software delivery model and hurtling towards SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS is uniquely enabled to face the future because of its foundations in cloud and mobile technologies.

Moreover, IT departments have understood that one could eliminate unnecessary load on data centers caused by on-premise software apps and also reduce issues related to software management, all caused by on-premise software apps. In fact, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to say that SaaS is changing traditional delivery models of software businesses. Let us try and understand the differences between traditional and SaaS delivery models.

The starkest differences between traditional software license based delivery models and SaaS delivery models can be observed when we compare the stages involved among the two.

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The software license based delivery includes two stages:

Vendor-side activity in the traditional model: A software program would first be developed, then tested and finally released. All this used to take place on-premise and used considerable IT resources. IT also drained companies off their capital and caused many delays. The fact that developers used on-premise infrastructure also meant that traditional delivery models were not very efficient, opening the doors for software-related issues. Often, software testing was unreliable and development also caused a strain on data centers.

Customer-side activity: As software programs were developed, tested and released on-premise, only a single user used to gain access to the end product. This consequently increased the cost and most companies found the costs of IT development burdensome.

The steps involved previously were installing a software program, qualifying it and finally operating it across a single organization (user). While such app/software development is still in vogue, most companies can neither afford the costs that come with traditional software development nor can they afford to miss out on opportunities that come with SaaS.

The SaaS-based delivery on the other hand focuses on multiple-users, reduction of costs and utilizing the Internet to reduce the burden on on-premise infrastructure. Let us take a look at the SaaS-based delivery model:

Vendor-side activity in the SaaS-reliant model: In this model vendors develop, test and release software applications in a process that mimics traditional models. However, there is a huge difference. Vendors have greater control over testing software programs that they develop because they have access to cloud infrastructure.

This democratizes IT development and allows cloud companies to offer better solutions to their clients. Vendors need not develop software programs on-premise and instead, they can use cloud infrastructure for development, testing and release. This reduces cost, increases efficiency and boosts productivity.

Customer-side activity: In the previous model, a single software program would be developed on-premise, which was later used by a single end user. In the SaaS-based delivery model, installation, qualification and operation takes place over the cloud, with the help of high-speed Internet. This reduces infrastructure-burden on clients and customers.

They will no longer need to invest in expensive IT infrastructure and can instead make use of Multi-tenant Architecture. Vendors can reach out to multiple clients and customize software programs for different users without needing to start from the scratch.

SaaS delivery models will likely dominate in the future too

Implementation of SaaS delivery models will likely become the norm in the near future. SaaS depends on cloud and mobile technologies to make delivery methods quicker, more democratic and affordable. In result, more and more companies will be able to tap into the power of Internet and IT.

SaaS delivery model reduces costs, increases efficiency and gives access to software and IT development, which were previously inaccessible to many companies. Gradually, this is becoming the preferred delivery model for businesses, eclipsing the previous model of on-premise development and delivery.

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