Software as a Service (Saas) has emerged as a cost-effective option to obtain necessary software packages for many businesses in the past few years. Now, according to one expert, there may be an even better financial option arriving on the scene.
“An alternative to conventional SaaS is ‘On Demand Software,’ a product that offers a similar enterprise solution that can be hosted or installed locally or externally – but without a capital intensive purchase up front,” said Gene Gander, vp-- business development for CargoWise. “This enterprise solution provides the same degree of service, but the application fees are based solely on the actual number of users and the amount of service access, which can vary from month to month.”
Offering many of the same benefits as an SaaS solution, On Demand Software affords the clients the financial flexibility going forward that would not otherwise be possible with a traditional software model, he explained.
“The client does not have to have an impossible cognitive vision of what future business requirements will be over a given period of time,” said Gander. “Traditional capitalized purchases place an immense burden on a company trying to avoid overbuying or underbuying.”
Gander said hosted SaaS services provide cost efficiencies as the vendor service is accessed over the Internet on a subscription basis. This has offered a cost-effective alternative to more expensive systems, but not without its drawbacks.
“A true SaaS model does have some limitations in the flexibility many companies desire, however,” he pointed out. “Foremost among them is that while a growing number of companies embrace a hosted solution, many require a locally installed application. Even as a hosted application, they want the option to dictate where it is hosted or the frequency of updates. In some cases, the business environment may require a dynamic product delivery of feature updates; and others simply want to manage the applications on a less frequent basis after substantial internal testing.”
On Demand Software models offer a number of benefits, according to Gander, including:
- Ability to purchase the exact amount of functionality needed
- Quicker deployment of the software and the ability to add modules quickly and as needed
- Reduced IT resource maintenance
- Ability to ramp up or scale down functionality as needed.
“On Demand Software products provide the most flexible and efficient means to drive supply chain excellence while controlling the true cost of ownership in today’s variable business environment,” added Gander. “The On Demand Software model can add efficiency and cost savings for both the vendor and customer through strong partnerships that enables customers to concentrate on their core business and growing the business. And, as the true value of a software ‘sale’ can only be realized over a period of time, the vendor incentive for providing successful and more nimble software applications with increased customer ROI is increased.”