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SaaS: A Viable Alternative for IT


If your IT group isn't evaluating SAAS (software as a service) options for your next application project, you can bet line-of-business managers are. SaaS is a viable alternative to licensed software for businesses of all sizes.

IT departments that resist SaaS may find themselves overruled or undercut by other business units that need an application today, not six or 16 months from now. With their low deployment costs and Web delivery mechanism, SaaS applications can be in place with or without IT's help.

So rather than fight it, IT execs should embrace SaaS to demonstrate their ability to facilitate and support business initiatives. And line-of-business types need IT's technical expertise and guidance in every stage of a SaaS deployment. That includes evaluating whether on-demand options will be a good deal three to five years down the line, grilling providers on details (such as uptime and application enhancement), and helping customize the application and integrate it with other business processes.

Although there are some sticking points to watch out for, SaaS offers several benefits, such as more flexible payment terms and tiered feature sets, over the conventional model of licensed software. In addition, SaaS can reduce deployment burdens and time to deployment.

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