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RingCentral Team
March 18, 2013
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Advice From an IT Decision Maker: Go SaaS or Go Software?

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Does moving to cloud just mean hosting your software in a highly available data center? Is SaaS (software as a service) just about using somebody else’s software that’s hosted in their data center? How much spent on a SaaS solution is too much? Where do you break even with a perpetual software fee?

Do these questions bother you at your job? If so, please keep reading.

Simply hosting your software in a high-uptime data center is not the same as using a cloud solution. True cloud solutions are designed to be multi-tenant. Which means there are many other clients using the same infrastructure that is designed to scale with usage. You are better off being in a multi-tenant environment than in one dedicated just for you.

How about maintenance down-times? Cloud service providers have scaled their technology and infrastructure such that they can keep running their services during maintenance times. Cloud vendors have established the discipline and procedures to keep their services up. If they don’t, their user community is on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets within five minutes to make their displeasure heard. If you try to build a dedicated environment at the same scale of a multi-tenant one on your own, you are not managing your bottom line well.

But enough with the geek-talk: let’s discuss business continuity and services. Cloud is more than just infrastructure, scalability and availability. All these problems can be solved if you simply throw money at them.

What you don’t get with that strategy is follow-the-sun services that make you comfortable knowing that you can talk to someone when you run into problems. It’s a simple equation: Problems = Loss Of Business.

Nor do you have the opportunity to learn about industry best practices from thousands of other people using the same software as you. We live in social world – doesn’t it make sense to let your software evolve with social influence?

What about the ongoing fees associated with SaaS? Think about them in terms of getting what you pay for. What happens when your own server goes down for six hours and you lose a number of potential customers? Or you miss the deadline for closing the books at the end of your fiscal quarter? SaaS subscriptions do typically cost more than on-premise software and hardware over the long term – but SaaS vendors’ uptime is almost guaranteed to beat whatever you could cobble together on your own. Plus, SaaS solutions need never be upgraded or replaced; they’re updated automatically, with no effort needed on your part.

I wish I could say “take it or leave it,” but the benefits of SaaS are too big to pass up. Please do yourself a favor and go SaaS with a service like RingCentral Office.