|Approach to SaaS|
The One-Step-at-a-Time Approach to SaaS
Despite the hype of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) deployment model, software companies are somewhat apprehensive and for good reason; the problems encountered by early adopters are an indication that the technology has not quite reached its full potential.
There is another approach to implementing SaaS, however, and that is taking it one step at a time. While this may not be a ‘plug and play’ formula that can be applied to each and every company, it does reflect a logical, managed journey towards SaaS, albeit cautious. Suggested here is a step-by-step approach to implementing SaaS configurations.
Step 1: Do a feasibility study
A feasibility study is the first thing you should do and it’s probably one of the most neglected yet critical areas. Before you go ahead and start developing the next salesforce.com, do an analysis from an objective perspective. Ask questions such as: Why should the company consider moving in to a SaaS model as opposed to sticking with the traditional delivery method. Does SaaS deliver make sense for the business? You should also conduct a benefit analysis and research the degree of flexibility needed, plus potential risks that may arise and any licensing-related issues that may affect both delivery models.
Step 2: Set goals and objectives for the SaaS application
You have determined that developing a SaaS application makes sense. Now set goals and objectives to measure the effectiveness of the application. Pen what you want to achieve through a SaaS delivery model. Also at this time, make a tentative marketing and sales plan. This can be reviewed and altered at a later date, if needed.
Step 3: Consider the costs and the cash flows
The business model for SaaS is different than that of traditional software models. One of the most important dissimilarities is the nature of cash flow. Large, upfront licensing expenses are replaced by pay-as-you-go subscription costs. A SaaS operator should also pay special attention to the potential fixed cost that will be incurred such as continuous support to the application.
In our next entry, we will look at additional steps software companies using SaaS delivering methods can take to ensure a glitch-free transition. The Digital Saber SaaS methodology is a comprehensive tool that enables Independent Software Vendors to minimize the potential pitfalls of rushing to deliver SaaS applications.