When did you switch from 8-track to cassette? And… what is SaaS, anyway? (Featuring ZZ Top, Hank Williams Jr., and George Strait.)

Do you remember switching from 8-track to cassette? From cassette to CDs? Are you on iTunes yet? Some of us woke up one day and realized that if we were going to hear George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning,  Hank Williams Jr.’s Leave them Boys Alone, or ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man, we’d have to make the switch. Deloitte, a global consulting firm,  has published an excellent, in-depth review of SaaS, what it is, and what all business leaders need to consider before making the decision. This article covers technical advantages, uses in small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, and where it fits in the Could Service Models (Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, and Business Process as a Service). It also discusses how to prepare for implementation, and what the judgment criteria are for making the decision.

Updating to a new music platform doesn’t exactly have the same implications as adopting the Cloud and SaaS for your wholesale operation or your landscape design or contracting firm—but there are parallels worth noting.

“Consider the case of Apple, which began its remarkable ascent with the iPod music player and rode a string of subsequent successes—including the iTunes ecosystem, iPhone and iPad—to become the dominant force in music and mobile devices, and—as this is being written—the world’s most valuable company,” said Deloitte’s analysts.

If you are thinking of upgrading your system to SaaS, there are some things the experts at Deloitte recommend that you consider:

SaaS can help a large enterprise achieve the speed and agility of a much smaller company, thanks to low upfront investments, rapid implementation, and easy scalability. SaaS also has a distinct cost advantage in the short run, although the long-term cost savings are less clear.

Yet perhaps the biggest constraint to SaaS adoption in the large enterprise space is the capability gap between established enterprise applications and still-maturing SaaS applications. In some areas, such as CRM, the capability gap is already negligible—and in some cases may even favor SaaS. But in other areas, SaaS-based enterprise solutions still have a ways to go.

 

Business leaders must carefully weigh the available SaaS offerings against their company’s unique requirements and then make their own decisions. In cases where SaaS comes up short, leaders should revisit their decisions often because SaaS capabilities are maturing rapidly and can quickly change the whole equation.

 

In practical terms, SaaS adoption is no longer a radical or experimental proposition. For most businesses, it has emerged as a viable weapon in the strategic quiver. How and when to deploy it are increasingly crucial questions that business leaders will need to explore.

 

Just for fun, here's a link to Leave them Boys Alone. 

Okay, and Sharp Dressed Man (the live Texas version).

Last up- Amarillo by Morning.