One question we get asked a lot when talking to customers is whether to choose SaaS or an on-premise solution (either hosted in-house or at a 3rd party provider).
In this post I'll try to outline some of the pros and cons of each scenario so you can make an informed and objective decision for your organization. Lastly I will also touch upon the perspectives of an open source solution.
Let's dive in.
To start things off I always like to make the iceberg analogy when implementing software. Everyone is always focused on the license costs but rarely do people think about all the other parts of making a new piece of software work in an organization. It is necessary to look at the whole picture to reach the right conclusion on choosing the right solution.
Expenses are more than meets the eye
Today organizations are typically under a lot of pressure to switch to more cost-effective ways of getting work done. SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) means software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers and is delivered to customers through internet technologies.
SaaS is no longer only for aiding small organizations in implementing technology that would give them the ability to easily configure, customize and scale PPM services within their organizations. Organizations from small to large are already moving towards this model for much of their software, obviously depending on their maturity.
On-premise deployment of PPM is the tried and tested way to go. It is a classical approach that has existed since the dawn of the computer age. Organizations of all sizes are using this model to this day.
The last thing I want to touch upon before concluding is the oft-made comparison between SaaS and open source (and therefore on-premise) alternatives. An organization might argue that their on-premise installation is not expensive because they are using open source software, implying that it is free to download and use. And yes, to some extent that is true but they often forget how much time they are spending maintaining said open source solution. A SaaS solution includes a range of things like easy configuration and setup, support, automatic backups, ongoing development and so on. In an open source solution these are things the organization must perform themselves and what if the open source project is abandoned? The time spent on these issues is often substantial (and your employee's time is not free). Taking all these things into consideration, paying for a SaaS product is often significantly cheaper both for the initial cost and in the long term.
It is important to not only look at the tip of the iceberg when choosing between SaaS and on-premise PPM solutions. Do you prefer to maintain full control and inccur the cost associated with it or would you rather relinquish control and let the experts handle things for you?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a deployment method and every situation is indeed unique. Often the majority of organizations' decide on these matters from a pre-determined bias towards a deployment choice through previous experiences and corporate culture. I hope the arguments above offer some aspects to consider during your next software purchase and help guide your decision to making the best choice to realize your business objectives.
If you have any questions or want to book a demo with us to see what Forecast has to offer you; then book a personal 30 min. slot with our success team.