When and why does it make sense to move to a cloud-hosted software model? What are the types of cloud-hosted applications and what are the benefits?
These questions are being asked by many Fortune 100 and smaller companies in North America and around the world. And as sales figures illustrate, an increasing number of organizations opt for SaaS software. Subscription revenues from SaaS software are expected to reach $106 billion in 2016, a 22 percent increase compared to the year before and a whopping 146 increase compared to 2012, according to Forrester Research, Inc.
So why are so many organizations abandoning the old model of on-premises computing in favor of different cloud computing service models like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS? As you debate which model makes sense for your warehouse or distribution center, consider the following benefits of cloud computing:
a. Dynamic change with comparatively little effort
If a company experiences rapid growth, the typical on-premises data centers tend to struggle to adopt to the changing and unpredictable scenarios that arise when the size of computing and the number of transactions fluctuate on a nearly daily basis. Cloud-hosted applications and the underlying IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service, meaning servers and storage are made available in a scalable way over a network), on the other hand, are built to be flexible and dynamic, accommodating rapid change.
b. World class data centers and personnel/disaster recovery
With a cloud-based SaaS application, you get your ideal data center, staffed with expert personnel who stand ready to address recovery, automatic patching, application upgrades, security and a host of other issues. The in-house IT team and CIO/CTOs at your organization can rest assured they do not need to get involved.
c. Capital-expenditure free
The SaaS software model is typically a pay-by-the use or a subscription. This makes the acquisition/purchase process an expense-level item, meaning you avoid having to go through the typical corporate budget/capital process and all that it entails in terms of work and time delays.
d. More teamwork and collaboration
When your teams can access, edit, and share documents anytime, anywhere, they are not only able to do more together, but they also do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and provides full visibility of their collaborations.
e. Access one central application from anywhere
Forget about VPNs, lack of access for mobile workers, and having to be in the office to get work done. If you have an Internet connection and a sign on, you have access.
f. One application/one system of record/one truth
When everyone works on a single software, it eliminates the need for multiple document copies, lack of document control, and different versions of inventory. There is only one system of record.
With a stellar data center and single-method access, security becomes more straightforward and focused. A provider in control of the number and ways that people are allowed to be on the network can concentrate efforts on dealing with hackers and other threats.
h. Cost and competitive ability
Small, medium, and growing companies now have access to the same, or in some cases better, software delivery tools than their larger, better funded competitors and at lower costs than they could possibly do for themselves.
For many organizations, moving to the cloud is a win-win. What about yours?