Whether you call it cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS) or on-demand systems the move away from premise-based equipment is accelerating rapidly. Two primary factors are driving this move – total cost of ownership (TCO) and Flexible Functionality.
TCO for a SaaS solution is generally much less than that of the premise-based equivalent. This is due to the elimination of needed IT infrastructure, reduction in maintenance efforts and lower deployment costs for SaaS. SaaS solutions also offer much more flexibility when it comes to scaling to adapt to fluctuating requirements, adding new features through upgrades and keeping current on revision levels.
I just read a white paper from inContact
that does a good job of presenting all the factors driving the move to SaaS in the contact center and the differences with premise-based solutions. The author cites some interesting results from related research. On the TCO advantages of SaaS for instance, a Yankee Group
study estimates savings of 34% for a 100 seat contact center over five years.
In addition to discussing the drivers behind the SaaS movement, the paper discusses how some of the barriers resisting widespread adoption are falling. These include:
- Concerns over security
- Questions about regulatory compliance
- Skepticism about stability and reliability
- Perceived lack of industry-specific customization
- Resistance from internal IT staff.
The paper also includes a great little table summarizing the differences between SaaS and premise-based solutions, and it concludes with six key traits to look for when choosing a service provider. One of my favorite parts is an analogy comparing the movement to SaaS solutions with the transformation from mainframe to PC-based computing. I think that’s right on the money.