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,” says Gene Gander, vice president-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 explains.
“The client does not have to have an impossible cognitive vision of what future business requirements will be over a given period of time,” says Gander. “Traditional capitalized purchases place an immense burden on a company trying to avoid overbuying or underbuying.”
Gander says that since the vendor service is accessed over the Internet on a subscription basis in the SaaS model, it provides a host of cost efficiencies. This has offered an alternative to more expensive systems but not without its drawbacks.
“A true SaaS model does have some limitations in the flexibility many companies desire,” he points 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 future updates; and others simply want to manage the applications on a less frequent basis after substantial internal testing.”
According to Gander, On Demand Software models offer a number of benefits, including the 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; and the 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,” adds Gander. “The On Demand Software model can add efficiency and cost savings for both the vendor and customer.”