Guest post by Rocky Costantino, Solution Architect

There certainly is a great deal of hype in the IT marketplace on the benefits of cloud computing and in particular the SaaS (Software as a Service) model. Since the introduction of Salesforce.com, SaaS and cloud computing vendors have been growing quickly. The benefits of SaaS are numerous; however, one can argue that cloud-based software isn’t for everyone.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating SaaS versus On-Premise software solutions.

• What are your projections for business growth?
• How stable is your business model?
• Are your processes mature?
• Do you require a great deal of flexibility and customization of the software?
• What level of integration with third-party applications is required?
• How sophisticated is your internal IT staff and the current IT infrastructure?
• Of course we cannot forget capital expenditures versus operational expenses.

The constant influx of new SaaS vendors and the success of companies like Salesforce, Workday, and one of the newer entrants, Service-now.com, is a strong indicator that the SaaS model has established itself as a viable option in the enterprise. The reduction in expenses for software support and maintenance, IT infrastructure, software deployment, and application support staff are strong factors in favor of SaaS. This has certainly played out in service areas such as Service Desk applications, HR portals, and sales management. Will SaaS be as successful in larger-scale ERP and CRM applications?

What is the future of SaaS? Is it hype or is it ripe?

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