When a company is looking at software, one question that is difficult to answer is whether a pre-packaged, tailored, or in-house solution best supports the needs of the company. This question needs to be answered if the company is purchasing standard software or software as a service (SaaS) solution. Part of the reason why this question is so difficult to answer is because the standard statement begins with “It depends”.
“Your company might not have the means to support a full enterprise solution when starting out. That’s when a pre-packaged solution for the cloud makes a lot of sense…” (Page 11 of How To Avoid A Storm In Your Cloud Installation by ClickSoftware)
Enterprise software solutions are designed for large organizations. Startup companies dream of the day when they will be bigger, but just like a child wearing their parent’s clothes, they just aren’t there yet. There may come a day when the company will be ready to embrace all of the features and advantages of an enterprise solution, but until then, they don’t need to deal with a lot of features and services they don’t need.
Enterprise software solutions can also be out of the price range of many companies that are trying to get their feet under them. A smaller, scalable solution will offer the right services at the right price, with the added ability to grow as the company grows.
Cloud software solutions offer flexibility and scalability to businesses large and small. They offer the opportunity to pay for the services and demand load they need, without being charged for the extras that they aren’t ready for yet. As with standard software, SaaS can be an out of the box, tailored, or in-house solution, depending on the needs and capabilities of the organization.
“… One benefit of buying pre-packaged software is that its features are well tested so you know it will work well. A second benefit is that pre-packaged software is not going to cost nearly as much as having a custom application developed.” (Page 11 of How To Avoid A Storm In Your Cloud Installation by ClickSoftware)
In house solutions cost time, money and resources to develop, implement and maintain. If the company doesn’t have the experience, knowledge, and assets for this undertaking, obtaining the needed talent and hardware can be expensive. Tailored packages can be an effective middle ground solution, but it isn’t always necessary to alter an out of the box SaaS.
Sometimes, the basic package is all the company needs when it is first starting out. It offers simple solutions and features that can be expanded as the company grows. Elasticity is a primary benefit of cloud solutions, and companies should take full advantage of it. When the organization is considering what type of solution is best, take a look at where the company is now and where it is headed. Then, determine if a scalable, out of the box solution, is a cost effective means of meeting basic needs while still allowing room for growth.
Robert Stanley is a content producer at ClickSoftware mobile workforce solutions, a company which also offers a variety of resources on capacity planning and mobile business apps. ClickSoftware provides a free e-book covering multiple areas of cloud installation which you can find here.